Retreat to the grassy green outside QPAC. Green Jam is a great musical program that rolls around every year. Unroll a picnic blanket on the lawn, and relax to the sounds of some very fine musical groups, trios, soloists and duos. There’s a lot of jazz and blues on the calendar – whether it’s the kind that involves an acoustic guitar, a trumpet or a double bass – as well as some amazing world music.
For something a little different to your regular cinema experience, head to GOMA for a piece of their Australian Cinematheque program, which holds screenings Wednesday and Friday nights, plus matinee screenings on Saturdays and Sundays. Check out their schedule, but you’ll find everything from influential filmmakers and international cinema to rare 35mm prints, silent films and restored films. Most are free, however some special screenings are ticketed. GOMA is the only Aussie art gallery with purpose-built film facilities to this standard, so be sure to check it out.
Love to boogie? Know how to Salsa? Join the lively Latin fans that take over Brisbane Square, near Brisbane City Library, every Friday night to twirl, shimmy and shake their hips long into the night. Whether you’re a pro salsa dancer or a complete beginner, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome and there’s usually a free beginner class at 8pm. Don’t want to dance? It’s still fun to watch.
The Sit Down Comedy Club puts on events across Brisbane, at regular locations like the Stones Corner Hotel, Newmarket Hotel, The Bavarian Beerhaus and The Paddo Tavern. While there are many ticketed events, there’s still a great range of free events on the calendar too, like Open Mic Nights. It’s the perfect chance to get a funny dose of stand-up comedy for a whole lotta nothing.
Stacks of weekend markets
Every weekend (and sometimes mid-week too), markets spring to life all over Brisbane. By the river, among the city hustle and quietly tucked away in various suburbs. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new piece of clothing or a souvenir or nothing at all – or maybe just a juice or coffee to sip as you wander – there’s no better way to enjoy Brisbane’s sunny weather and relaxed culture. Interested? Don’t miss this round-up of the best fashion and handmade markets in Brisbane.
Sunday Sessions on the Green
There’s nothing better than a Sunday session. And on the grassy slopes of Riverquay, Sunday afternoons come to life with all those hazy, relaxed feels that Sundays are all about, with live music by Brisbane performers, a chilled crowd scattered across the steps and prime riverfront breezes and views. Just head to the top end of South Bank (not far from the Maritime Museum). It’s all waiting for you.
Join a free fitness class at South Bank
Time to change up the routine? Switch one of your gym sessions at the Student One gym for a session of Brisbane’s free outdoor fitness series, the Medibank Feel Good Program, which takes place in and around the beautiful South Bank Parklands. Try something relaxing like yoga or pilates on the grassy lawns, or go high-energy with a zumba or bootcamp class. There’s also aqua classes, barre and tai chi. Check out the timetables here.
Australia’s largest free live music program is right here in Brisbane. Local and touring artists and bands pop up all over the city with free performances to enjoy. Where exactly? Queen Street Mall and Post Office Square are two of the most popular spots. Expect an interesting mix of jazz, acoustic, folk, electro, alternative and any other possible genre. For even more live music, check out the various restaurants, pubs and bars across the city with live music programs.
Just about every weekend of the year there’s a new festival kicking off in Brisbane. The crown on the festival calendar however is Brisbane Festival, a month-long program of theatre, music, dance, circus and opera. And while many events are ticketed, some are free and even just getting among the atmosphere is an experience in itself. Many would say the best part of the festival is the famous Riverfire fireworks and aerial jets display (and yes, these ones are free). Watch it from the roof of the Student One building or pack a picnic and get a grassy spot by the river for the best panoramas of the year.