Cairns Festival, the most important and fastest-growing community event in regional Queensland, has gone a long way since the Cairns Regional Council established it on May 26, 1962. Back then, the headline event is the grand opening of a new jetty on Green Island. It was also the year when the first annual Cairns Tourist Festival started.
As a result of a competition held by TAA Magazine, Trans Air, the festival was renamed 'Fun in the Sun' in 1963. The Festival was renamed 'Reef Festival' in the early 1990s to commemorate the city's gateway access to the Great Barrier Reef and diving industry. The event was reborn as Festival Cairns in 2002 to bring all the city's major events under one enormous, colourful canopy.
Festival Cairns 2009 was re-energized to capitalise on the city's distinct culture and surroundings to create an event unlike any other in Australia today. In 2010, the festival's management and leadership were restored to its parent organisation, the Cairns Regional Council, ushering in a new chapter. At this point, the festival was re-branded and given its current name, Cairns Festival.
Since then, the Cairns Festival has delivered a vibrant, daring, and challenging program, including visual and performing arts, culture, and entertainment, highlighting the city's important cultural areas, supporting local talent, and promoting tourism. Take advantage of the 2023 Cairns Festival, which will be from August 25 to September 3.
2023 Cairns Festival
The 2023 Cairns Festival will take place at the following locations: Cairns Esplanade, City Library, Court House Gallery, CPAC Studio, CPAC Theatre, Munro Martin Parklands, and Tanks Arts Centre, with each offering programs worth attending. Here are some events you can attend.
August 25 - September 3, Court House Gallery Lawn
Visit the Festival HQ at the Court House Lawn as it transforms into a live and local music stage in the city's heart! Begin your Cairns Festival experience by listening to local musicians as the sun sets over a tropical skyline. Bring a picnic blanket and drink from the Lawn Bar, and enjoy the beautiful vibes!
Roald Dahl's The Twits, presented by Cairns Festival
August 25, CPAC Theatre
Whether or not you've read the book, make sure to see this family classic live on stage from the zany mind of the world's number one storyteller. The Twits is outstanding entertainment for all ages, packed with Dahlicious mischief, hilarious mayhem, and big belly laughs.
String Symphony by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
August 25 - 28, Lagoon Plaza Cairns Esplanade
String Symphony is a large-scale, interactive performance piece developed by Australia's renowned puppetry company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, in collaboration with designer and puppet maker Leon Hendroff.
String Symphony is about Leor's awakening and discovery of himself and his connection to others. The gigantic marionette is within a 5m truss that was handwoven using more than a kilometre of woven rope. Leor comes to life as ten community volunteers each take a string and work together to illuminate him from the inside with 600 hundred LED lights.
August 26, Cairns Esplanade
Catch the Grand Parade, the opening highlight of the Cairns Festival and an actual community event in the best traditions of Tropical North Queensland. Put on your best dazzling outfit with plenty of sequins and celebrate the Grand Parade. The Fireworks Spectacular begins at 7:30 p.m.
Prepare for the 2023 Cairns Festival by booking your Cairns accommodation with Tropic Towers early. Tropic Towers is accessible to local transit links and the Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda Rainforest, and Daintree Rainforest and has various spacious and self-contained holiday apartments, outstanding leisure facilities, and friendly onsite management.
Please book your Cairns Holiday Accommodation directly with us at Tropic Towers for the best rates!