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Friday, 7 October 2011

Brisbane Festival 2011 draws to a close

The final curtain has fallen on Brisbane Festival for another year, as encore performances came to a close this weekend.

The cultural extravaganza saw total attendance figures in excess of 850,000, a significant increase over last year’s festivities.

The festival’s artistic director Noel Staunton is extremely happy with how it was received.

“Our box office is doing well and people are enjoying the performances,” he said.

“We have a lot of standing ovations.”

The event thrilled and entertained audiences in a huge variety of venues around the city throughout November.

The festival, which included acts from all around the country and the world, came to its official close two weeks ago with massive shows from the likes of Kimbra and Bell Shakespeare.

However, a few more special events couldn’t fit the busy schedule and were presented as a series of encore shows.

The high energy dance of The LandOf Yes And The Land Of No, and the haunting theatre of Die Winterreise (TheWinter Journey) comprised the encore event series’ finale.

The festival played host to an all star cast of performers taking in everything from the high energy dance of Mortal Engine to the unconventional comedy of Sam Simmons.

In addition to the obvious artistic benefits, Mr Staunton says the festival's 700 odd performances have been a major boost for the city economically.

“The reality is they might pay the festival 60 or 100 dollars to see a performance but a hotel and an airplane ticket is costing them more money,” Mr Staunton said.

“It also establishes Queensland as a destination for an arts festival.”

The economic effects are not just limited to the city; the individual venues also experienced a significant increase in attendances coinciding with the festival.

The Brisbane Powerhouse theatre was one of the event’s key venues, and director Andrew Ross says the festival made a big impression.

“It’s always nice to have people in the venue,” he said, tongue in cheek.

“The powerhouse has been full of people... things have been pumping down here.”

Expressions Dance Company’s artistic director Natalie Weir says performing their show, First Ritual, as part of the festival has been a completely new experience for them.

“For us it was actually quite simple because Brisbane Festival looked after all of it,” she said.

“They talked to all of the Chinese, and they organised all of the flights and the accommodation, they looked after the box office.”

Ms Weir and her colleagues collaborated with Chinese dance company BeijingDance to bring the show to stage.

She also says the festival has brought a new and wider audience to the show, which played to enthusiastic crowds at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

“What I’ve noticed with the audiences is that a lot of people have come who probably normally wouldn’t come to our shows,” she said.

“There’s a real cross section of people.”

The many free events also proved immensely popular, with 30,000 people immersing themselves in South Bank’s Interactive Light Tunnel in the first week alone.

Mr Staunton says preparations are already under way for next year's festival, which promises to be just as entertaining, but he couldn't reveal any secrets.

Click the placemarks below for detailed venue information.
View Brisbane Festival 2011 in a larger map.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! Love it, Brisbane festival was sooo fantastic this year. Can't wait for next year!