Brisbane Powerhouse: a power station fuelled by culture

Nestled on the riverbank, Brisbane Powerhouse is one of Brisbane’s distinct landmarks. A cultural icon, it’s both a stunning industrial creation and a dynamic space for exhibitions, contemporary performances and live music for all ages.

Maybe you’ve been to Brisbane Powerhouse and think you’ve seen everything there is to see. Impossible! Brisbane’s celebrated cultural precinct has a packed year-round program of shows and events – and there’s more to this historic building than its industrial red-brick facade.

1. Book your next night out

A hub for theatre, music, comedy, film, and visual arts, there’s always something to see at Brisbane Powerhouse. Planning a night out, date night, or just craving some live entertainment? Choose from a yearly program of more than 1250 performances and events. View the what's on program.

Slap on your blue eyeshadow and sing along to the '80s anthems at All Fired Up (11-12 March). Be amazed, thrilled and amused by the circus, dance and cheeky burlesque and comedy in Club Culture Cabaret (24 April). Relive the joy of the Sister Act soundtracks live on stage with Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves, featuring Prinnie Stevens, Angela Fabian, Irena Lysiuk and Alisha Todd (17-20 February).

Laugh out loud in your seat with comedians like Marty Sheargold (25-26 March), Nikki Britton (29 April-1 May) and Aaron Chen (30 April).

There's plenty of culture on show, too! Festival of Tibet (1-10 April) offers in-person and virtual experiences, with proceeds supporting the education of Tibetan refugee children. CIRCFest22 Meanjin (21-24 April) showcases First Nations artists through theatre, comedy and acrobatics.

2. Eat, drink and be Mary

Looking for a place for a special celebration, a lazy long lunch or sunset drinks? Escape the noise and hustle of the city and dine riverside at Brisbane Powerhouse. Begin with drinks at Bar Alto, overlooking the Brisbane River, then move into Mary Mae’s Bar & Kitchen - cue uninterrupted river views, sun-drenched terraces, and an all-day dining menu!

3. Find things to do with kids

Brisbane Powerhouse doesn’t just cater to grown-ups — it’s also home to entertainment for kids. The under-fives have a blast at Powerkids: Art Lab, on Wednesdays during the school term. The multi-sensory experience combines storytelling, music, and visual arts in free play-based activities.

The Lord Mayor's Children's Program presents Our Backyard (12 March) – a free, live music show entwinning hip hop, funk and folk with First Nations language and lore. Book now to see ARIA award-winning children's band, Teeny Tiny Stevies (2 April). Get ready to sing along with sister duo Byll and Beth Stephen as they perform much-loved songs from Thoughtful Songs for Little People.

4. Walk in the steps of history

Brisbane Powerhouse was constructed in stages between 1928 and 1940 and once supported the largest tram network in the southern hemisphere. After its decommission in 1971, the building became a haven for the homeless, performers, and graffiti artists, whose artwork is now known as heritage-listed aerosol art.

Join a behind-the-scenes guided tour to trace the building’s unique history and venture backstage – an area normally reserved for performers and staff.

5. Shop 'til you drop at the markets

Every Saturday morning, from 6am to 12 noon, the Jan Powers Farmers Markets brings the freshest produce to the Brisbane Powerhouse forecourt. Kickstart your weekend with a quality coffee or fruity smoothie and a loaded bagel or gluten-free treat. Wander the 100-plus stalls and stock up on fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and more bought straight from the growers and makers. Can’t wait to get home to eat? Head over to New Farm Park for a picnic!

More Brisbetter day out inspiration

Check out our other Brisbetter Days Out articles, videos and itineraries for more fabulous ideas.

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** This article was updated in February 2022.**

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.

We will continue to add more places that make Brisbane great as we grow our Brisbane Explore experience. Come back regularly to check for new and updated content and don't forget to share your favourite places on Instagram using #Brisbetter!

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.