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Brisbane Festival has unveiled a new format for this year’s Festival, announcing four distinctive weekends of wonder this September.

Ahead of the official program launch in July, Brisbane Festival has revealed some of this year’s biggest events, including the world premiere of Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall’s aerial epic, Holding Achilles and the stage adaptation of Shannon Molloy’s powerful coming-of-age memoir, Fourteen.

Kicking off the 2022 Festival and Festive Weekend #1 (2 – 4 September) is the smoking ceremony Jumoo, taking place on the opening night of the Festival at South Bank (Friday 2 September), and Queensland’s flagship fireworks event, Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, which moves to the opening weekend (Saturday 3 September) of the Festival.

Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, together with broadcast partners Triple M and Nine Queensland, presents a showstopping pyrotechnics display set to a soundtrack curated by the children and youth of Brisbane.

Last year’s “floataway hit” also returns with Brisbane’s Art Boat setting sail once more from Northshore Brisbane, this time celebrating internationally acclaimed Australian visual artist Lindy Lee in a Festival-first collaboration.

Brisbane’s Art Boat will set sail across the Festival with the highlight of Festive Weekend #2 (9 – 11 September) inviting visitors to “Reach for the Stars” during a midnight cruise to celebrate the full moon at 11:59am on Saturday 10 September.

Another must-see experience is a spectacular light and sound installation by internationally renowned British artist Luke Jerram. Taking residence at West Village, the seven-metre floating orb transforms each week of the Festival, presenting three of Jerram’s most popular works – Museum of the Moon, Gaia and Mars.

Works of scale dominate Festive Weekend #3 (16 – 18 September), with major theatrical productions at QPAC, Queensland Theatre and La Boite, including the Queensland premiere of Girl From the North Country, at the Lyric Theatre.

Additional highlights include two eagerly awaited page-to-stage adaptations: shake & stir’s world premiere of Shannon Molloy’s modern Australian classic, Fourteen, and Anita Heiss’ ‘love letter to Meeanjin’, Tiddas – a Brisbane Festival co-production with La Boite Theatre and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Fans of epic drama will relish Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall’s stunning new contemporary production on the Achilles myth, Holding Achilles – a powerful blend of visual, physical and cinematic theatre with a haunting original score performed live by award-winning Australian musician Montaigne.

Queensland Theatre’s tri-lingual reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello, set in the Torres Strait at the height of World War II, promises a distinctive theatre experience.

Brisbane Festival reaches a confetti-fueled crescendo across the final Festive Weekend (23 – 25 September).  Six artist collectives take to the sky to take over six iconic Brisbane rooftops for one night only. Raise the Roof sees artists, including Michael Zavros, Briefs Factory International and musician Patience Hodgson curate their venue around a singular colour palette with guests invited to embrace the theme.

Closing the Festival at Brisbane Riverstage are megastars Paulini and Ben Mingay with Queensland Symphony Orchestra in the Closing Celebration – Queen’s Wharf  Disco Wonderland, a hypnotic open-air concert that marries world-class musicianship with the world’s most-loved ‘70s anthems.

The ‘Festive Weekends’ program was specially designed to entice intrastate and interstate visitors to make the most of Brisbane in spring.

Brisbane Festival returns to fill the city with three weeks of wonder, delight and celebration from 2 – 24 September 2022 with a full program announcement in July.

For information and tickets, visit brisbanefestival.com.au