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Fast Facts




2015 Audience 


Marketing & Communications  14 Publicity Report




The Commissioners


Brisbane Festival Board & Staff


An arts festival is an opportunity for artists and audiences to take risks. It’s a chance to experience new forms and new ideas and to lift our gaze beyond the everyday. This year’s Brisbane Festival, my first, tied together work from five continents and many hundreds of artists, all of whom had something to say. These voices spoke powerfully across the city, sharing views and experiences of the world that were both challenging and refreshing. Sometimes our securities were shaken, and often our hearts went out. Brisbane Festival positions the city as a global player, but also connects locally. That connection, crucially, extends to our partners – the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Brisbane City Council, our Principal Partner Treasury Casino & Hotel, long-term Platinum partners Channel Nine and Sunsuper, as well as our terrific Gold, Silver, Bronze, Distinguished Partners and Supporters. You are the great enablers. Thank you, also, to all Brisbane Festival Board Directors, led brilliantly by Paul Spiro, the Festival staff led consummately by Valmay Hill, and an amazing team of volunteers. The utter belief in the work, and the focused desire to get it right, has been truly extraordinary to witness. As the world becomes smaller and more connected, and the value of creativity and sharing becomes clearer, Brisbane Festival will reverberate with increasing consequence. I’m longing to get on to the next edition.
















David Berthold, Artistic Director

1M 220K 58K OVER






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Unforgettable, courageous theatre where time ceases to matter because what’s happening on stage is too riveting.

This year’s Brisbane Festival vibrated with a very distinct vision and voice. Across 20 venues, more than 500 shows, embracing a mixture of the meaty and the merry and including 15 Australian premieres and six world premieres, Brisbane Festival provided abundant opportunities for new experiences and cultural adventures. Productions and artists from 12 different countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Singapore, USA, UK, Japan and France, joined 26 Queensland and 17 interstate companies to create three weeks of enlightening entertainment.

Photography by Chris Van der Burght

The Australian

A highlight was the focus on the Congo, an often forgotten nation in the very heart of Africa. Coup Fatal mesmerised with its mix of baroque music, Congolese instruments and rhythms, and delirious dancing. Macbeth came from South Africa, but its setting in the world of Congolese war lords allowed its brilliant recomposition of Verdi’s operatic score to resonant with poignant power. Faustin Linyekula, one of Congo’s great dancer-storytellers, shared a remarkably intimate evening in Le Cargo. Brisbane’s large African community found voice in the Festival with Future Fidel’s Prize Fighter, an astonishing debut play in a co-production with La Boite that told the story of a Congolese refugee and his journey to a new home in Brisbane. It was difficult not to think of these works when FLEXN arrived in the city. These breathtaking African American dance pioneers from Brooklyn brought with them not only a vision of contemporary America, but also the ghosts of their ancestors. It was a privilege to welcome to Brisbane Peter Sellars, one of FLEXN’s co-creators, and one of the greats of world culture. FLEXN articulated, often with surprising lyrical beauty, something of the tension between race and authority in America, particularly the spate of police killings of unarmed black Americans. Beautiful One Day, in the theatre next door, told the Australian story of Palm Island, and the death-in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee. The connections were profound. Matters of race also found expression in Brisbane’s fantastically infectious and very popular hip-hop cabaret Hot Brown Honey at the Judith Wright Centre.

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I remember listening to this piece with him and this is a precious memory of a wonderful father who instilled a love of music in his children. Jane Thomson selected The Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg for Symphony for Me

The T’ang Quartet – Singapore’s finest string quartet and one of the most adventurous in the world – gave us a spectacular audio-visual treat in their Black Angels concert in the beautiful Conservatorium Theatre. Music legend Margaret Leng Tan, celebrating her 70th birthday, enchanted us with her toy piano Cabinet of Curiosities while indie sensation Charlie Lim soothed us in The Spiegeltent with a sumptuous voice belying his years.

Photography by Atmosphere Photography

Africa is far away but Singapore is close. This Asia Pacific neighbour, as rich and small as the Congo is large and poor, this year celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence. It was wonderful to welcome a delightful diversity of work from this unique city-state. The Importance of Being Earnest charmed large Playhouse audiences in an all-male version of the Oscar Wilde comedy classic, while managing to point to tensions within contemporary Singaporean society, and indeed our own. That other great Singaporean theatre company – Necessary Stage – shared beautiful insight into a Malay woman’s particular experience.

QPAC’s glorious Concert Hall was the site of some very special events. Rise for the Oceans brought together a tremendous line-up of great Australians – Bernard Fanning, Tim Winton, William Barton, Katie Noonan, Jessica Watson among them – in a multi-arts celebration of the Great Barrier Reef, the oceans that surround us, and the 50th anniversary of the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Later in the festival, A State of Grace gathered an international line-up including Martha Wainwright, Camille O’Sullivan, Steve Kilbey, Casper Clausen, Willa Mason, Cold Specks and Gary Lucas in a celebration of the music of Tim and Jeff Buckley.

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The Queensland Symphony Orchestra did brilliant triple duty this year, beginning with a sensational Mahler concert with two more great Australians, conductor Simone Young and soprano Lisa Gasteen. The world premiere of Thum Prints saw world beat-boxing virtuoso (and Brisbane resident) Tom Thum and local composer Gordon Hamilton create a dazzling concerto for beatboxer and orchestra that lifted the Concert Hall roof. Symphony for Me, hosted by Noni Hazlehurst, was a deeply affecting concert of music chosen by members of the public, who shared very personal stories about their selections before sitting onstage with the orchestra to hear the music played live, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

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480,000 Channel 9 television viewers Sunsuper Riverfire was presented by Brisbane Festival in association with Triple M and Channel Nine

Arcadia was our pulsing new festival hub, hosting two performance tents, plentiful food and bars, and a wide array of pop-up performance and interactive arts and crafts. Each night, in different tents, Club Swizzle sizzled in The Spiegeltent while Fear & Delight presented by Audi took us on a food and performance trip into a kooky netherworld. Huge crowds photographed themselves into the magical Brisbane Airport 3D Chalk Walk drawings. On some days, over 20,000 people passed through the space. The Spiegeltent was also home to an alluring mix of music. Megan Washington and Conrad Sewell sold out shows, while audiences found treasures in Japan’s Fox Capture Plan, Spain’s Los Coronas, Iceland’s Kiasmos, New Zealand’s Myele Manzanza & The Eclectic, USA’s Luna and Lady Rizo, Canada’s deliciously named Bahamas, and many more. A special all-day concert – 4ZZZ Flashback – marked 40 years of Brisbane’s iconic independent radio station. Just around the corner in The Courier-Mail Piazza, the UK hipster circus FLOWN captivated audiences, particularly those with families. Our Family Program also included The Listies Make You LOL!, Music for Little Monkeys, and the wondrous The Luck Child. Across the river in our beautifully designed Theatre Republic hub at QUT Kelvin Grove, some of the best independent theatre from here and around the world challenged us to think differently. Adrienne Truscott’s Asking for It and Richard II were clear highlights in an exceptional calendar, along with loads of free music from some of our best bands and

lively discussions on contentious areas of contemporary arts practice. Over in New Farm, Brisbane Powerhouse hosted the scintillating disco inferno Velvet, starring Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean, and the world premiere of Il Ritorno, Circa’s jaw-dropping new show that wove together the return of Ulysses, Monteverdi and post-WWII displacement in a way that strikingly resonated with the plight of contemporary Syrian refugees. It will now tour Europe and, we hope, beyond. Backyards across Brisbane were transformed into home grown cinemas with a free streaming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while our The Female Gaze series shed light on the female perspective in film. Cinematic splendour continued when Treasury Lights stunningly transformed the façade of the Treasury Hotel into oceans, disco, candy store and even firework display. That proved a perfect segue into our much-loved closing celebration, when the night sky became our ultimate canvas for the spectacular Sunsuper Riverfire, enjoyed by almost a million people. This three weeks of vision and voice, of entertainment and enlightenment, marked Brisbane Festival as one of the world’s leading international festivals, and Brisbane as a lively cultural centre. In this city, September is the month of marvels.

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Photography by Atmosphere Photography

485,000 Sunsuper Riverfire attendees











Intrastate 14%

Greater Brisbane 71%






18-24 19%

35-44 19%











25-34 Interstate 7%

Intrastate 10%



Greater Brisbane

55-64 14%




Returning 82%












45-54 21%


18-24 19%

Returning 77%

OF FESTIVAL TICKET BUYERS SIT IN A HIGH SOCIO-ECONOMIC MARKET SEGMENT *Please note visitor origin data is likely to be skewed to attendees who reside in greater Brisbane. The source of attendee contact data used for this research consisted of a high proportion of Greater Brisbane residents.

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The research data and findings have been collected and analysed by IER Pty Ltd., Melbourne Australia.

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GEOTRIBES Proportional size of Brisbane Festival GeoTribes markets

16% 11%


Brisbane Festival GeoTribes markets


It is important to note that 61% (in 2015) of the attendee segment is made up of four key GeoTribes:

Rockafellas 17% Fortunats 17% Crusaders 16% Achievers 11%

Powerful person-level segmentation platform. With GeoTribes you target the needs of people, not the area they live in. From Human Needs to Segments

Why person-level targeting is better

Person-level GeoTribes segments turn readily available age and address information into a powerful platform for understanding audiences with fifteen familiar tribes that are built on:

Your lifecycle stage and where you live are key factors in creating your social identity, and this is integral with your lifestyle, purchasing, social interactions and use of brands and media channels.

ifecycle Stage which is a key L driver on needs across many categories, and Socioeconomic Status which is a key driver of the quality of purchases made to meet the needs

If you are young, you will have something in common with the older people in your area, but you actually live your life in a totally different tribe and this is reflected in GeoTribes. GeoTribes is the only segmentation tool that uses factual age in tagging, so that each Tribe incorporates a distinct lifecycle stage rather than the mix that occurs in the segments of other geodemographic tools.

Applications GeoTribes is used by researchers, planners and creatives to: nderstand behavioural drivers U to work out why your customers respond the way they do Build rich psychological, media and lifestyle profiles and create more nuanced propositions and messaging Benchmark market penetration to find the best opportunities for business development Link research, media, behavioural and retail data for market planning based on underlying needs Create targeted welcome packs for new customers as they sign up

The GeoTribes 1. Rockafellas: Affluent mature families Very high incomes and discretionary spend. Mature children. High home ownership and investments. ituation: Enjoying the position S of success Buying Drivers: Exclusive, distinctive, aesthetic, quality and genuine status Media: Magazines and Newspapers Online Media: Linkedin, Wikipedia, Twitter T V: News/Current Affairs, Food, Home/Lifestyle, Sport Online Activities: Travel Arrangements, Shopping, Reading Current Affairs or Sport

2. Fortunats: Financially Secure Retirees and Pre-Retirees Incomes primarily from superannuation and investments. ituation: Comfortably enjoying the S fruits of a successful life Buying Drivers: Exclusive, sophisticated, epicurean, quality, evolved and cultural

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edia: Newspapers, Magazines, M Radio and TV Online Media: Linkedin, Wikipedia, Google T V: Documentaries, News/ Current Affairs, Dramas/Soaps Online Activities: Travel Arrangements, Emails, General Information

3. Crusaders: Career-Oriented Singles and Couples High earned incomes and hours worked. Higher occupational status, especially professionals. ituation: Getting the most out of S life, getting ahead and finding the ‘right’ someone Buying Drivers: Fashionable, branded, stylish status and great experiences Media: Internet and Outdoor Online Media: Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter T V: Comedies, Cartoons, Movies Online Activities: Dating, Watching TV/Movies, Reading Blogs

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4. Achievers: Ambitious Younger and Middle Ages Families Higher SES with high levels of income and debt. High household spend. Younger children. ituation: Family ambition and a S commitment to ‘Making It!’ Buying Drivers: Accessible status and memorable experiences that show they are successful Media: Internet and Outdoor Online Media; Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram T V: Children’s Shows, Cartoons, Reality Shows Online Activities: Watching TV/ Movies, Shopping, Buying/ Selling Goods


Facebook fans increased by

Twitter followers increased by

Instagram followers increased by

Pinterest followers increased by

Youtube followers increased by

Eat Play Stay page views increased by

10% 58% 57% 25% 26% 59%



 ,351,134 page views 553,288 visits 1 and 338,602 visitors to Brisbane Festival website, which was responsive to all mobile and tablet devices  mail marketing campaign involving 41,832 E enews subscribers and further past attendees 21 editions of enewsletters

Outdoor 376 street banners throughout Brisbane’s inner city

68,800 Facebook fans

30 static and 111 digital goa billboard placements over three months

51,600 Twitter followers 10,400 Instagram followers


498 Pinterest followers

35 Press advert total with Brisbane Kids,

274 YouTube subscribers  ouTube playlist of Brisbane Festival 2015 Y videos had 15,311 views  ditorial content was generated for Festival blog, E receiving 1,727 page views

Brisbane’s Child, Q News, The Music, The Courier-Mail, The Australian, The Sunday Mail, The Music, Gold Coast Bulletin and QNews

Television and Cinema Six television commercials receiving 314 spots and


an additional four What’s On commercials receiving 17 spots on Channel Nine

75,000 80-page programs distributed via direct

mail to past attendees, street distribution, Festival partners and venues

9 0 minutes of dedicated television programming on Channel Nine for both ‘Behind the Scenes’ and Sunsuper Riverfire

 12,300 highlights brochures distributed via 3 The Courier-Mail and The Weekend Australian in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

Four week cinema campaign across 104 screens in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Total attendance 46,919

 ver 97,550 other marketing pieces including O brochures, postcards, posters and in-theatre programs distributed via street distribution, partner promotions and on-site at Brisbane Festival hubs

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A pproximately 1,317,498 impressions and 130,433 paid search impressions made online across various media platforms

Radio 5 64 live and recorded commercials and promo spots

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05 Sep 2015 Weekend Australian, Australia Author: Matthew Westwood • Section: Review • Article type : News Item Audience : 225,206 • Page: 1 • Printed Size: 2846.00cm² • Market: National Country: Australia • ASR: AUD 92,942 • Words: 2686 • Item ID: 459847494

Copyright Agency licensed copy (


Page 1 of 7


SEPTEMBER 5-6 2015








2,369 media clips independently valued at more than $10.1 million (Advertising Space Rate), reaching a cumulative audience of 61.7 million 11 cover stories including The Weekend Australian Review, The Courier-Mail CANVAS, Sun Herald (QLD edition), The Star Observer, Scenestr, The Music, Queensland Pride and South East Advertiser International coverage in New York Times, International Arts Manager, The Strait Times (Singapore), The Guardian, Vice, Mashable and Times of India

Count 162 7%


Count 362 15%

Six Radio National features across The Drawing Room, The Music Show and Books & Arts Daily, and a feature on The World Today

Magazine Blogs


Count 49 2%

Count 50 2%

Count 5 1%

TV Count 925 40% Radio Count 549 23%

Count 657 28%

Our partners understand and practice this and have ensured that their brands are a welcome and valued part of the Brisbane Festival experience.

Count 275 12%

Online Count 522 22%


The stories that we can tell of our partnerships demonstrate that relationships with Brisbane Festival deliver great benefits in staff development, community engagement and innovative branding.



Count 510 22%

I am certain that now and into the future business will continue to benefit from the arts just as much as the arts will continue to benefit from the business community. To have a sustainable arts industry we require long term commitment from the business community as well as government.


Interstate Count 628 26%


TV highlights include the first edition of Foxtel’s new Event program, Peter Sellars interview on ABC National Breakfast/ABC News 24, feature story on Prize Fighter on ABC TV Qld/ABC News 24, Jessica Watson interview on Weekend Today, 16 weather crosses by Channel Nine Brisbane, plus multiple crosses by Channels Ten and Seven



What you get through sponsorship is not just an audience but the privilege of connecting with people through something that they care about – something that they have already decided is important enough to invest their own time, their money and their heart. Kim Skildrum-Reid

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EMPLOYEE ADVANTAGES Each year Sunsuper has shown leadership in their field through their reward of their top performing team members. One of the many benefits enjoyed by Sunsuper top performers is a money-can’t-buy VIP experience of Sunsuper Riverfire. In 2015 this included a private, licensed, exclusive space right on the riverfront for the best seats in the house to experience Sunsuper Riverfire with their families and friends. This not only rewards outstanding staff, but encourages other staff to strive for excellence, enhances employee satisfaction and loyalty, encourages lower staff turnover, and is a great incentive to potential employees. Treasury Casino & Hotel invited all of their staff to visit Arcadia for an interactive Family Day experience. As our Principal Partner, Treasury staff has been extremely supportive of Brisbane Festival and to be able to give back some extra fun and games to their team has been very rewarding for the Festival.

BRANDING ALIGNMENT Our Partners’ brands seamlessly align to Brisbane Festival. People describe us in the same terms and our customers think of us as a synonymous brand. Eat South Bank is outdoor, Brisbane, experiential, nightlife, social. QUT is real-world, lifelong learning, best practice, memory-makers. Vinaceous is fringedwelling, artistic, delicious, experience-enhancing. Audi is high quality, trustworthy, international. The list can go on forever as we really work hard to partner with organisations that will fit and with whom we can work to enhance our mutual target audiences.

Brisbane Festival has and continues to play a significant role in the evolution and expression of Brisbane. It vitally provides a unique opportunity for the business community to connect with the people of Brisbane in a meaningful and beneficial way.

CORPORATE ENTERTAINING 2015 saw a real growth in the opportunity to make your corporate mark through bespoke, unique and high quality corporate entertaining at the Festival. Specifically, Gadens enjoyed a night with Katie Noonan in the Riverhouse with around 400 of their closest friends. Aurecon also hosted around 350 guests at a private showing of Circa’s Il Ritorno and Audi hosted 100 of their most valued clients at a private performance of Fear & Delight, which was presented by Audi. This type of large-scale entertaining at the Festival enables our select corporate Partners to create memories with their clients that cannot be copied by their competitors, or indeed, re-enacted in future years. Many Partners also enjoyed more intimate entertaining opportunities through private booths in The Spiegeltent, delicious dining and show experiences with our Festival Flavours restaurants, and casual evenings of drinks at Arcadia followed by a show. A unique activation of their Partnership that punches above its weight is the Singapore Airlines partnership with Festival Flavours. Progressive dinners around Brisbane with key clients and top performing sales staff and a foodie’s trip to Singapore really bring this partnership to life and enhance the public’s experience.

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By being part of the Festival, we were able to not only give our clients an exceptional evening of entertainment, we supported the performing arts in Brisbane something that is dear to us here at Aurecon. It was a win/win for all.

The team at Brisbane Festival are very passionate about what they do and a pleasure to work with. They work to understand objectives and create tailored and unique experiences to help you meet the goals of the partnership.

Neil Barr, Aurecon.

Jenna Griffith, BDO.

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MARKET ADVANTAGE The introduction of the Little Creatures Treehouse was enjoyed my thousands and truly enhanced the experiences of many. A creative space filled with lively performers, experiential beer schools, great viewing of Arcadia and generally a comfortable spot to have a beer and play Jenga with friends. The Little Creatures Treehouse did make the experience of Arcadia better for everyone and Brisbane Festival and our visitors have made the Treehouse a part of our story.

2015 saw the creation on the Little Creatures Treehouse. This was a great collaboration between Brisbane Festival and Little Creatures that showcased all things beer and art, including the Little Creatures Beer Schools. Brisbane Festival is a fantastic platform for Little Creatures to talk to many like-minded creatures and open up a little.

If you are a subscriber to The Courier-Mail you will also have noticed an exclusive offer of tickets to the Opening Night of Flown in The Courier-Mail Piazza. A great element of this partnership is that it leverages the Festival as well as leveraging their other partnerships and marketing activities. Exclusive exposure of Sunsuper Riverfire on Channel Nine and Triple M ensure that Brisbane’s biggest celebration is strongly and exclusively linked to these iconic brands. Industry exclusivity for our biggest Partners ensures that Festival patrons have no question where our loyalties lie. With around 20 hosted opportunities for artists, arts workers, business and government guests to get to know each other, this year really blurred the lines between backgrounds and confirmed that we are all together on this journey.

There have never been more authentic opportunities for us to all feel connected by the Festival.

REPUTATION Our Partners’ reputations as industry leaders, corporate philanthropists, innovators, community investors are extremely important to the Festival. Their reputations reflect upon the Festival as much as the Festival’s reputation reflects upon their brands.

BUILDING WEALTHY COMMUNITY The Festival entertains, inspires and enriches our lives, but it also plays an important role in bringing communities together and contributing to our economy. A creative society is a healthy society, one that provides opportunities for self-expression, communal experiences and the development of skills and new cultural experiences. We commend and thank all of the businesses and government partners who have made a commitment to being part of the creation of a culturally rich, stimulating and exciting Brisbane. We can never underestimate the impact of free community events, such as Sunsuper Riverfire, Eat South Bank Buskers, Brisbane Airport 3D Chalk Walk, and goa Billboards competition, on building community spirit and pride.

Phil Wuersching, Lion Co.

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THE COMMISSIONERS The Commissioners For the very first time, Brisbane Festival was able to invite generous donors to join us in the commissioning of new works. The Commissioners program brings together those who share our deep commitment to enabling artists to realise fresh ideas. Works commissioned by Brisbane Festival and our Commissioners give Brisbane the privileged prime position of the first, exclusive look at performances that tell our perspective and share it with the world. The Commissioners this year helped us to fund the creation of Prize Fighter at La Boite and also II Ritorno by Circa. These performances were a true gift to the people of Brisbane, securing sold out performances and overwhelming critical acclaim. We welcome you to join us for the journey of creating new work for years to come and invite you to contact us.

High Commissioner Audi Centre Brisbane

Commissioners Philip Bacon AM Valmay Hill Peter Hyland Paul Spiro

Directors of Brisbane Festival Paul Spiro, Chair Philip Bacon AM, Deputy Chair Cory Heathwood Peter Hyland Ian Klug Anna Marsden Amanda Newbery Ian Turner Chris Tyquin

Brisbane Festival Management Team David Berthold, Artistic Director Valmay Hill, Chief Executive Officer Danica Bennett, Business Development Director Rebecca Drummond, Finance Director/Company Secretary Justin Grace, Marketing & Communications Director Tim Pack, Technical Director Beck Pearce, Program Director

Contact PO Box 3943 South Brisbane QLD 4101 P: +61 7 38335400 F: +61 7 38335450 E: brisbanefestival@

BRISBANE FESTIVAL 2016 DATES 3 – 24 SEPT 2016 Images by Atmosphere Photography

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PO Box 3943 South Brisbane QLD 4101 P +61 (0)7 3833 5400 F +61 (0)7 3833 5450 E

Principal Partner

Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council

Brisbane Festival In Review - 2015  
Brisbane Festival In Review - 2015