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The Party’s Just Getting Started

One of Brisbane’s greatest teams, on par with the Broncos and Lions in relation to current positive impact on the city, is Brisbane Festival’s Charlie Cush and Louise Bezzina. This power pair is the heart, soul and brains behind what is fast becoming an internationally acclaimed three-week celebration of arts performances and experiences.

Try to wrap your head around organising one event, let alone the more than 1000 performances happening across town from today until September 23. It unofficially kicks off with Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, which tomorrow night features Foti Fireworks’ pyrotechnic magic plus 400 drones telling an ancient story of culture and place.

What I’m keen on is how Charlie and Louise have dragged Brisbane Festival from relative obscurity to a globally recognised production. I’ve been told it’s their focus on connecting the community with a sometimes aloof industry, while not being shy about drawing on international input.

It’s a formula which pays off, literally speaking, with 1.5 million people in attendance last year delivering an economic impact of around $48 million.

Brisbane Festival is the icing on the cake in a year when the city has come of age. Under our brilliant blue skies we’ve proudly hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup, our aforementioned Broncos and Lions are pumping up for finals footy, and more than 400,000 of us enjoyed the most successful Royal Queensland Show (EKKA) in years.

The eyes of the world are looking at Brisbane, as Charlie has said, and it’s time to party.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire