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.

You’ll find plenty of laughs at shows from the Brisbane Comedy Festival (16 July-8 August), the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase Tour (27 November), and comedians like Jimeoin (22-25 July) and Arj Barker (30 November-12 December).

Some of Australia’s most loved singers take to the stage at Brisbane Powerhouse too. Catch iconic musician Ian Moss (26 June).

Brisbane Powerhouse’s contemporary theatre program will amuse, delight and challenge your thinking. See the thought-provoking original work, Undertow (16-26 June) and the one-woman show, Blue Bones (18-28 August). 

You’ll also be entranced by the ground-breaking photography of the annual World Press Photo Exhibition 2021 (26 June-18 July) and the Brisbane Portrait Prize finalists (29 September-31 October).

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.

You’ll also find activities during the school holidays. Dinosaur Time Machine, the hit show using puppetry, science and circus that’s perfect for 3-9 year-olds, returns mid-year (29 June-3 July).

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 originally published in late 2020 and was updated in May 2021.

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!

Nearby events

Thu 1 Jul 2021, 10:00am

Join Jimmy Giggle and his Owl Pals Hoot and Hootabelle for a hootastic live adventure on stage! Set off on a pirate adventure to find Mini Hoot, witness the...

Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm

Thu 1 Jul 2021, 12:30pm

Join Jimmy Giggle and his Owl Pals Hoot and Hootabelle for a hootastic live adventure on stage! Set off on a pirate adventure to find Mini Hoot, witness the...

Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm

Fri 2 Jul 2021, 10:00am

Join Jimmy Giggle and his Owl Pals Hoot and Hootabelle for a hootastic live adventure on stage! Set off on a pirate adventure to find Mini Hoot, witness the...

Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm

Fri 2 Jul 2021, 12:30pm

Join Jimmy Giggle and his Owl Pals Hoot and Hootabelle for a hootastic live adventure on stage! Set off on a pirate adventure to find Mini Hoot, witness the...

Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm