National

Major changes to Brisbane festival as fate of Riverfire decided

Major changes to Brisbane festival as fate of Riverfire decided
In late September every year, Brisbane ignites with Riverfire as tens of thousands of revellers line the river and fireworks light the sky.
But this year's event has been replaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The one true consistency during COVID-19 has been unpredictability. Like many organisations, Brisbane Festival has reimagined the Festival so it may proceed mindful of the need to adhere to social distancing restrictions," the event website reads.
Riverfire in its usual form has been cancelled due to the risk posed by "crowd gathering" amid the pandemic. (Fairfax Media)
"While the Brisbane Festival team is committed to delivering an exciting program for Brisbane this September, certain elements of the 2020 program, including Sunsuper Riverfire, are unable to go ahead because it encourages crowd gathering."
Instead of fireworks exploding over the Brisbane River, more than a dozen rooftops across the city will create an installation called Sunsuper Night Sky by internationally acclaimed artist Robin Fox.
Every Friday and Saturday night of the festival the buildings will be lit by laser beams and pulsate to a soundtrack.
"This exquisite light installation will be visible for miles from hundreds of vantage points across Brisbane," the website said.
"View Sunsuper Night Sky from the street, on your evening walk or even by CityCat."

Festival coming to your neighborhood

Riverfire usually marks the end of the four-week-long Brisbane Festival, which has also undergone some changes.
Southbank is normally where the hub of the festival is located but this year it is being spread across the city's suburbs.
"In reimagining the 2020 Festival, the Brisbane Festival team is focused on finding new ways to bring Brisbane together this September to celebrate without encouraging crowd gathering," the website reads.
"This year's program is being designed in a way that people can enjoy it without gathering together in crowds.
Crowds would usually line the Brisbane river to watch the flyovers and firework spectacular. (Fairfax Media)
"One-hundred-and-ninety suburbs of Brisbane will be visited by our mobile stages-on-wheels so keep an eye and ear out in your suburb."
Louise Bezzina, artistic director of Brisbane festival, said there were more people involved in this year's event than any other year.
"It's great to tell everybody that we're happening. This year instead of the people coming to the art we're taking the art to the people," she said.
We still have a massive festival program it's just that we need to do it in smaller numbers in a much more boutique way.
"Every single suburb. 190 suburbs of Brisbane, which is the biggest city council in Australia, and we are actually going to every single one."
While the usual fireworks and flyovers of Riverfire may not be going ahead, some may be headed to the suburbs with organisers set to make later program announcements.
"Keep a close eye on our website and on social media because we do need to keep some things a little bit surprising obviously," Ms Bezzina said.
The Brisbane Festival will take place from September 4 to 26.
For more information on the program, visit the Brisbane Festival website.