Although the number of COVID-19 cases have dramatically lowered compared to what they were at their peak, social distancing restrictions are still putting a hold on business-as-usual for all but the smallest of performing arts venues. After all, it is likely to not be financially viable for mid-sized and large venues to host eight performances with only 100 people. Despite being locked to the state, there are several opportunities for Queenslanders to get culturally enriched either in-person via special events or digitally via online channels.
Here are just a few I would recommend considering:
Until the 26th September, the annual Brisbane Festival will be taking place across the city and its surrounding suburbs. Things might have been looking shaky for the festivities earlier in the year, but the production team have put together an assortment of free and paid, live performance and events, at Metro Arts, Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane Powerhouse, The Tivoli and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre among others – which adhere to current social distancing requirements. There are even street serenades which bring the live entertainment and food vendors to your cul de sac.
If you are in Brisbane or surrounding suburbs and do not reside in an area which has additional restrictions attached to it, check out the official Brisbane Festival website for an up-to-date event list. Just be warned that tickets are selling fast, with many sold out or low on seating.
2Wonder at Home of the Arts
Taking place from 1 October 2020 until 11 October 2020, Wonder is two weeks of live performances and events taking place at HOTA: Home of the Arts which is is themed around Gaia. For those who are not aware, Gaia is a touring artwork by UK-based artist Luke Jerram, which will be travelling to the Gold Coast next month for its Australian East Coast debut. It is a seven-metre wide detailed replica of the Earth as viewed from space, which will be suspended above the Outdoor Stage.
Following their last Kids Take Over event at the beginning of the year, Wonderland will coincide with a second event titled Story Wonderland. The youngest members of the family will be invited to “step into a land of stories, dream big and get creative as they learn to write and illustrate their own books, solve mysteries, dance the Haka, sing along with Play School presenter Lucas Proudfoot” and more.
3The Sky is the Limit at QPAC Unlocked
Opening their doors for the first time since COVID-19 ground the Australian performing arts sector to a halt, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) have commenced their QPAC Unlocked series of events. During these festivities, they have reopened two of their theatre spaces – the Cremorne Theatre and Concert Hall – and the Lyrebird Restaurant. Unfortunately, most of the events, which were capped at 100 Patrons, have sold out.
However, the annual performance of The Sky’s the Limit by Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University’s graduating class of Musical Theatre students still has some seats remaining for $49.00. You can see the full line-up of events they have running via the official QPAC Unlocked official website.
Is there a show you really want to see but there are no remaining seats remaining? Keep an eye on the site regularly a week out from the performance, as tickets have been known in the past to go back on sale.
4Queensland Producers Are Not Sitting On Their Hands Waiting the Pandemic Out, They Are Producing a Lot of Rich Digital Content Online
The trouble with coming from both a health sciences and performing arts background, is an internal conflict between supporting venues opening up as soon as possible and not encouraging anyone take risks which could threaten their health and push us into a second wave of the virus. While I wholeheartedly support people supporting their favourite arts companies through paid in-person opportunities, it is understandable that many may wish not to risk even the slightest chance of catching COVID-19 and prefer to remain being culturally enriched online.
Fortunately, many Queensland producers have not locked their digital content behind paywalls, and there is much you can enjoy. Queensland Ballet offers a range of written and audiovisual content via their website, Opera Queensland continues their ‘An Aria a Day’ video series via social media, Queensland Theatre continues their Quality Time and Podcast series, and both Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra both offer a bountiful archive of short compositions via their social media channels.
These are but a few of the many organisations which are continuing to offer rich, digital content to their communities. If you have always wanted to try a new genre but could never accumulate the funds to justify trying something new, now is the best opportunity to experience what could be your next favourite thing in 2021.