Tantalising food festivals and city-spanning art – the best events taking place in May

Tantalising food festivals and city-spanning art – the best events taking place in May

Is there any sight better than a full social calendar? With lockdowns a distant memory, Brisbane’s event scene is positively packed with a smorgasbord of fabulous festivals, city-wide art activations and road-trip-worthy experiences. To make things extra convenient for you, we’ve put together a handy list of the coolest events happening in Brisbane this May.

Dine BNE City
May is shaping up to be a mighty fine month for gourmands of Brisbane, especially those that frequent the city centre. DINE BNE City is back for 2022 with more than 100 unique offers and dining experiences taking place across Brisbane City’s restaurants and bars. From May 1–29, locals can take their pick from three jam-packed food collections serving up exclusive deals and menus across lunch, snacks and dinner. There’s something to suit just about every budget and culinary craving, from seven-course omakase feasts and wine and whisky dinners to tasty tapas flights and prawn and bug rolls served with a glass of Veuve Clicquot. In addition to the delectable deals, DINE BNE City’s program also features an assortment of bespoke events, including a self-guided wine-tasting tour of the city, a steak-centric chef’s table experience and a ten-course pasta feast from one of Australia’s most inventive chefs. Been looking for an excuse to hit the town? You’ve found it. Read all about DINE BNE City here.

Australian Cocktail Month
Brisbane’s bars are getting into the action in May, with Australian Cocktail Month conveniently running concurrently across many of Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s best boozers. Between May 1–31, acclaimed watering holes like Alba Bar & DeliDr GimletteFrog’s Hollow SaloonSuper Whatnot and The Gresham will be whipping up specially curated cocktails (one full strength and one non-alcoholic option) available only to ticket holders. In addition to these exclusive elixirs, Australian Cocktail Month’s boozer partners will be hosting special events across the city, including a special Titos pop-up at Blackbird every Wednesday, Starward’s World Whisky Day celebrations at Cobbler on May 19–21 and a special appearance of Four Pillars Gin‘s martini trolley at The Gresham on Thursday May 19. Head to the website to buy a ticket and get acquainted with the participating venues.

Regional Flavours
Regional Flavours, South Bank’s signature annual celebration of local produce and gourmet fare, returns to the precinct in 2022 with a few tasty tweaks. This year the multi-day festival is using ‘ultimate grazing table’ as its theme, and The Marketplace on Little Stanley Street will be the perfect place to curate your own, with stalls selling local produce, artisanal pantry stuffers, cheeses, craft spirits, chocolates and morsels from regional restaurants. The Greenhouse Stage will see local culinary talent and producers celebrate regionality, seasonality and sustainability with an assortment of cooking demonstrations, Meet The Maker sessions and more, while some of Brisbane’s big-name chefs and nationally renowned culinary masterminds to share pearls of wisdom from the Regional Flavours stage across the weekend. Throw in three live-music stages, paint-and-sip classes, food and drink pairing sessions, and kid-friendly craft zones and you’ve got the makings of a great family-friendly weekend excursion. Regional Flavours will take place from May 13–15 – hop over here to grab your tickets.

Brisbane Street Art Festival
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘to paint the town red’, but Brisbane Street Art Festival doesn’t constrain itself to just one colour. This multidisciplinary art showcase gives creatives a different canvas to put their mark, offering up walls and surfaces around Brisbane to be transformed from May 7–22. The festival program features 50 live public murals and installations from artists hailing from Australia, USA, Spain, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand, in addition to numerous art-filled events around town. For the first time, Brisbane Street Art Festival will have its own hub called Superordinary Northshore – a large-scale warehouse HQ that will play host to 12 mural activations and the festival launch party. Other mural works will appear at locales such as Howard Smith Wharves, Queen St Mall, RNA Showgrounds, The Valley Mall, and around South Bank, while events will spotlight photography, graffiti and other interdisciplinary artists throughout the duration. Click here to take a squiz at the full program.

ESCAPE in the Scenic Rim
Need a getaway? Not just any getaway – one that will have you getting in touch with nature and connected to the splendour of your own backyard? If so, chances are you’ve already heard about ESCAPE in the Scenic Rim but, if you haven’t, here’s the deal. On Friday April 29, Scenic Rim Regional Council kicked off a month-long adventure tourism program geared towards getting city folk like us out of the house or office at amongst some of Southeast Queensland’s breathtaking surrounds. The program boasts one-of-a-kind options for all comers, from tandem hang gliding and self-guided 4WD scavenger hunts to bush tucker high teas and a picnic hike with an alpaca. Click here to view the full program, or check out our picks for ESCAPE in the Scenic Rim highlights here.

Honourable mentions: As if that wasn’t enough to fill up your calendar, May boasts even more fun things to check out. We also suggest spellbinding outdoor art showcase Botanica from May 20–29, iconic celebration of all things Greek, Paniyiri, on May 21–22, the Brisbane Comedy Festival, which is running until Sunday May 29, and Teneriffe Festival on Saturday May 28.


To find out more about what’s on in Brisbane, head to our Event Guide.

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