1.Festival Opening Night
When: Friday 25th August 5.00pm-9.00pm
Where: Main stage at the Western Events Lawn
Who: The opening night of the Cairns Festival promises to be an unforgettable musical experience, featuring an eclectic lineup of talented performers. Among them is the enigmatic Boy Of Many Colours, whose vibrant and diverse music captivates with its fusion of genres and powerful storytelling.
His dynamic stage presence and unique sound set the tone for an evening filled with creativity and passion. Adding to the excitement is the headline act, Eliza and the Delusionals, a rising indie rock sensation known for their infectious energy and anthemic tunes. Led by the charismatic Eliza Klatt, the band delivers an electrifying performance that resonates with audiences of all ages.
As the night unfolds, the crowd will be taken on a musical journey through a diverse range of sounds, leaving them eager for the incredible festivities that lie ahead during the Cairns Festival.
5:45pm – Madam Mañana | 6:30pm – Water Streets | 7:30pm – Boy of Many Colours | 8.30pm – Eliza & The Delusionals
2.Festival Grand Parade & Concert
When: Saturday 26th August 1.00pm-9.00pm
Where: Cairns Esplanade, Main stage at the Western Events Lawn
Who: The Cairns Festival comes alive with an electrifying lineup of talented musicians, each bringing their unique sounds and styles to the stage. Among the lineup are the soulful and dynamic Miss Tee, whose powerful vocals and captivating stage presence leave audiences mesmerised.
Abi Muir, a rising star in the music scene, enchants with her soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics that resonate with listeners. Lady Valiant brings a fusion of indie and folk elements, weaving poignant storytelling into her music, while Hylidae takes audiences on a sonic journey with their genre-blending electronic beats and ethereal vocals. Phat Love’s high-energy performances and infectious grooves get everyone on their feet, dancing the night away.
The music will pause at 5.30pm while the esplanade becomes a spectacle of colour of fun with the commencement of the Grand Parade. At 7.30 the conclusion of the Grand Parade is heralded with a Fireworks Spectacular. Keep the night going with Electrik Lemonade.
1:15pm – Miss Tee | 1:55pm – Abi & Holly Muir | 2:40pm – Lady Valiant | 3:40pm – Hylidae | 4:45pm – Phat Love | 5:30pm – Grand Parade commences | 7:30pm – Fireworks Spectacular | 7:45pm – Electrik Lemonade
3.GULGI-BARRA By Miriki Performing Arts
30-minute shows will be held on the following days
Friday 25th 6.00pm
Saturday 26th 12.30pm and 5.00pm
Sunday 27th 6.00pm
Wednesday 30th– 6.00pm
Where: Cairns Esplanade, Eastern Events Lawn
Gulgi-barra (meaning Sand People) is a captivating new dance work that honors the ancient Gulgi-barra clan of the Yidindji tribe in Far North Queensland. With deep respect for the rich cultural heritage, this performance pays homage to the traditions and customs passed down through generations.
Uncle David Mundraby, a living descendant of the Gulgi-barra clan, takes center stage as he shares sand stories that offer a profound insight into the significance of sand in their customs. Through mesmerizing dance and storytelling, the audience is transported to a world where the grains of sand hold deep cultural meaning and embody the essence of ancestral connections. Gulgi-barra is an artistic celebration that preserves and showcases the cultural legacy of the Yidindji people, leaving an indelible impression on all who bear witness to this mesmerising tribute.
When: Sunday 27th of August 2.00pm-6.00pm
Where: Cairns Esplanade, Western Events Lawn
Cairns Festival continues to nurture and showcase the emerging talents of the region with “Introducing…” – a music event that spotlights local musicians, songwriters, bands, and performers and débuts them on stage.
As a community that cherishes its live music scene, this event is a celebration of the next generation of gifted artists. In partnership with Flame.Arts, the performers have received invaluable guidance from industry professionals through two full-day workshops. The culmination of their hard work and dedication is showcased on the “Introducing…” stage, where the audience is treated to an afternoon of musical brilliance. From soulful melodies to energetic beats, each act brings something special to the stage.
As the sun sets, the headliner, Jelly Oshen, takes center stage, captivating the audience with an unforgettable performance. “Introducing…” is not just a music event; it is a platform that empowers and uplifts the emerging stars of the Cairns music scene, ensuring a vibrant and promising future for local talent.
5. String Symphony By Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Where: Lagoon Plaza Cairns Esplanade
Created by Australia’s renowned puppetry company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, with designer and puppet maker Leon Hendroff, String Symphony is a large-scale, interactive performance installation that uses puppetry to explore connection, community and collaboration.
At the core of our being is the desire to feel connected. We all want to belong, to find our place and to celebrate the threads that connect us all. This is a joyful, interactive and visual stunning work that appeals to all-ages.
Friday 25 August
5.00pm | 6.30pm | 7.40pm
Saturday 26 August
10.00am | 11.10am | 4.00pm | 7.30pm | 8.40pm
Sunday 27 August
10.30am | 11.40am | 5.00pm | 6.30pm | 7.40pm
Monday 28 August
10.00am | 11.10am | 5.30pm | 7.00pm | 8.30pm
6. Folk and acoustic night headlined by Cinnamon Sun
When: Monday 28th 5.00pm-9.00pm
Where: Court House Gallery, Front Lawn
Welcome to the Folk and Acoustic Night, headlined by the soothing melodies of Cinnamon Sun, on the enchanting Court House Gallery lawn, where the Festival HQ Stage comes alive with excitement and entertainment during Cairns Festival. Bring your picnic and settle in for an evening of captivating live performances under the sparkling stars.
Tonight’s lineup promises a delightful blend of folk and acoustic vibes that will enchant your senses. Immerse yourself in the relaxing Tahitian bar atmosphere created by Cinnamon Sun, setting the perfect mood for a night of musical bliss. Experience the powerful vocals and mesmerizing guitar-playing wizardry of Tullara, and be captivated by the soulful voice and skilled piano and guitar talents of Anais Campbell.
As the night unfolds, prepare for a mix of dark humor and captivating melodies as Mike Tomkinson presents a unique blend of “angry Jack Johnson and an uncharacteristically chipper Paul Dempsey.” And finally, revel in the harmonious synergy of Sunbird, a trio of remarkable women uniting to offer wit, sass, and glorious harmonies.
Get ready for an unforgettable journey through a diverse soundscape:
5:00 pm – Sunbird
5:45 pm – Mike Tomkinson
6:30 pm – Anais Campbell
7:15 pm – Tullara
8:00 pm – Cinnamon Sun
7. Chicks to the front headlined by Tessa Devine
When: Saturday 2nd August 5.00pm-9.00pm
Where: Court House Gallery, Front Lawn
Welcome to “Chicks to the Front,” an all-female-led night headlined by the incredible Tessa Devine, on the vibrant Court House Gallery lawn, where the Festival HQ Stage is alive with excitement and entertainment during Cairns Festival. Get ready to witness the extraordinary talent of an all-female lineup as these remarkable artists take the stage by storm. Each artist brings her unique musical style and captivating performance, promising to ignite the atmosphere and leave you spellbound.
Mark your calendars and prepare to be moved and inspired by this all-female lineup:
5:00pm – Poetic Chaos
5.45pm – Tenni
6.30pm – Danielle Davis
7.15pm – Amber Farnan
8.00pm – Tessa Devine
9. Soweto Gospel Choir – Hope
When: 6.30pm (GET YOUR TICKETS HERE)
Where: CPAC Theatre
Experience “Hope,” a sensational new concert presented by the 3-time Grammy®-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, celebrating the poignant songs and anthems from two iconic freedom movements in history. From the heartfelt struggle of Nelson Mandela’s South Africa to the inspiring Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King’s America in the 1950s, “Hope” takes you on a powerful musical journey that transcends time.
The concert opens with an electrifying program of South African freedom songs, filled with uplifting rhythms and soul-stirring melodies. As the music echoes through the ages, you’ll be transported to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. Prepare to be moved by beautiful renditions of the protest music that defined an era, featuring works by legendary artists such as James Brown, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, and the incomparable Aretha Franklin.
Formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music, the Soweto Gospel Choir draws on the finest talent from the vibrant churches in and around Soweto.
9. Jazz under the stars presented by Friends of the Botanic Gardens Cairns
When: Sat 2 Sep 4:30 pm – Tickets at the gate
Where: Cairns Botanic Gardens
Calling all jazz lovers! It’s time to indulge in an enchanting night of soulful melodies and intricate chords under the starry sky. Grab your picnic, a cozy blanket or chair, and head to the Botanic Gardens for a jazz-filled extravaganza that promises to delight your senses.
Prepare to be mesmerised by an exceptional lineup of talented jazz musicians, each bringing their unique flair to the stage. First up, let Captain Jazz & the Silver Bandicoots transport you to a world of musical brilliance with their captivating performance. Next, be enchanted by the soulful sounds of Victoria’s Secrets, weaving a magical spell with every note.
So, mark your calendars and join us for a night of pure jazz magic as this festival favorite returns to the Botanic Gardens. With the twinkling stars as your backdrop, let the heart and soul of jazz carry you away on an unforgettable musical journey.