Our top five highlights for week one of Festival 2018 Brisbane
It’s official – the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games have arrived! While most of the action is taking place down south between April 4–15, Brisbane will still be buzzing with a stellar program of world-class events and live entertainment thanks to Festival 2018. For 12 huge days, the city will come alive for an arts and culture extravaganza and best of all – it’s entirely free. Here are our top picks for Week One of Festival 2018 in Brisbane, from Wednesday April 4 to Sunday April 8.
WOW (Women of the World), Brisbane Powerhouse, April 6–8
The last year has certainly been a groundbreaking one for women all over the world, and while there is still a long way to go in the fight for gender equality, it’s exciting to see progress being made. From Friday April 6 to Sunday April 8, WOW (Women of the World) is celebrating what it means to be a female in this modern world, bringing together women and girls from more than 20 countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. Over three inspiring days, Brisbane Powerhouse will play host to an incredible selection of panels, performances, installations and workshops, showcasing the light and shade of womanhood. You can expect to hear from the likes of Michelle Law, Margi Brown Ash and Yassmin Abdel-Magied and many more powerful women proving that girls truly do run the world.
Alchemy, Cultural Forecourt, April 5–8
Alchemy is the medieval predecessor to chemistry, aiming to convert base metals into gold and create a universal elixir of life. In its latest production (aptly titled Alchemy), mesmerising physical theatre company Zen Zen Zo has identified this process as a metaphor for the Commonwealth Games, celebrating the power of transformation and the journey towards realising our full potential. To an ethereal live soundtrack created by renowned Australian composer and musician Richard Grantham, Zen Zen Zo’s dancers weave their way through the piece like spirit walkers, before they “spin out of nothingness scattering stars like dust” in a moving climax. Alchemy will be in The Circle at South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt from Thursday April 5 to Sunday April 8.
One Million Stars installation, King George Square, March 29 to April 15
From Thursday March 29 to Sunday April 15, King George Square will be transformed into an inspirational and awe-inspiring universe filled with one million stars. Inspired by artist Maryann Talia Pau, the One Million Stars installation has seen thousands of people from across the world weave one million stars, united in their hope for a peaceful future. The stars have been strung together in 370 vibrant garlands to create a breathtaking four-metre-high, 15-metre-wide dome, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. Visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves in the installation, reflecting on the many hands and hearts that made the work come to life, set to a soundscape created by Michelle Xen. By day, natural light will filter through the iridescent star strings and by night the dome will be illuminated as a shining beacon of peace.
Archie Roach, Cultural Forecourt, April 5
When it comes to iconic Australian voices, they don’t come much bigger than Archie Roach. The prolific artist has become a powerful champion for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over his 30-year career, crafting both a songbook and a legacy that comes straight from the heart. Since his debut album Charcoal Lane in 1990 right up to the release of this year’s Dancing With My Spirit, Archie has maintained an uncanny knack of tapping into the human spirit to create music that resonates with people the world over. His distinct roots and folk sound can be heard at a free live performance taking over the Orbit Stage on Thursday April 5 – prepare for some seriously moving moments.
Electric Fields, Cultural Forecourt, April 8
What happens when you take the edges of gender and culture, then meet at the cross section? In short, the answer is the inimitable Electric Fields. The duo of music producer Michael Ross and vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding have come together to create a sound that transcends genres and plays with sonic boundaries. Michael’s inventive production techniques lay the foundation for Zaachariaha’s soaring vocals, which they sing in a combination of English and the Ananu language. Electric Fields will play a headlining set at the Orbit Stage on Sunday April 8 – trust us when we say you won’t want to miss it.