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From island escapes to hidden festivals – five must-do events in Brisbane this October

From island escapes to hidden festivals – five must-do events in Brisbane this October

September may have been a jam-packed month for Brisbane, but we’ve got good news for you folks who like getting out and about – October is set to be just as full of rad events to experience. While those who work better on the fly can always refer to our handy round-up of the best things happening every weekend in Brisbane, we also recognise that some folk prefer to plan ahead. Get these dates locked in your diary – here are five unmissable events happening in Brisbane this October.


Brisbane International Film Festival – October 3–13 at QAGOMA and other locations
Brisbane’s contingent of great events happening in October kicks off with one of the most hotly anticipated – we’re talking Brisbane International Film Festival, baby! Returning to its home of QAGOMA, the jam-packed 11-day affair celebrates the best of contemporary international and Australian screen culture across new-release features, documentaries and short films – you can catch everything from zombie comedies to emotional dramas. It’s not just about the flicks – organisers have arranged screenings with live music, conversations, panel discussions and more. 

Brisbane Open House – October 12–13 at various locations
Ever been walking around the streets of your town, spying beautiful buildings and wondering what lies behind closed doors? Brisbane Open House gives you the chance to check out some of our city’s most iconic and intriguing spaces – all for free. Award-winning architectural feats, heritage sites and eye-popping spaces in our built environment will all be opened up for your sticky-beaking pleasure, with experts on hand to explain the finer details of what you’re seeing. More than 119 unique building and structures will be available to view over the two days.

John Waters: Make Trouble – Wednesday October 16 at Brisbane Powerhouse
Embrace chaos, be nosy and outrage your critics – these are three pieces of advice that cult-hero director, writer and artist John Waters has imparted on us all to live a blessed life. The self-described Pope of Trash is coming to our shores for a one-off, one-man show at Brisbane Powerhouse, where he will talk audiences through his incredible career and how he’s forged success from being what outsiders would consider a deviant. From Pink Flamingos to Hairspray, this is one dude who’s done a lot to elevate camp and trash – and we could all learn a lot.

Island Vibe Festival – October 24–27 at North Stradbroke Island
If you’ve got some annual leave up your sleeve this October, cashing it in to go to Island Vibe Festival is a really wise move. The annual celebration closes out the month on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), bringing together a melting pot of island culture across art exhibitions, interactive workshops, stalls, circus, eco-food and craft markets. Four different stages will host 80 incredible reggae, roots, soul and electronic acts over the weekend, including Indigenous and Pacific Islander dance and cultural groups. It’s a groovy, chill and totally respectful festival experience.

Hidden Lanes Festival – Saturday October 26 in Winn Lane, Bakery Lane and California Lane
When it comes to Brisbane’s thriving laneway culture, we have Fortitude Valley’s three main cultural veins to thank. The Hidden Lanes Festival is a free one-day affair that unites Winn, Bakery and California lanes in an all-out celebration of what they do best – food, music, art, design, markets and heritage. A huge music line-up of more than 50 artists (including Greta Stanley, Cry Club and The Jensens) will take care of the tunes, while punters can also get amongst a bunch of discovery trails and masterclasses – from cookie decorating to cocktail making and festival braids, there’s something for everyone.

Hungry for more? You can always check out our Events Guide for a killer selection of things happening in Brisbane any time.

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



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