Cairns Festival is here!

24 August 2018


CAIRNS Festival’s opening weekend will be one of colour and celebration, with an exciting mix of creative fun for the kids, live local music and a naughty new comedy show for the grown-ups, plus the spectacular Grand Parade and Fireworks.

The 10-day festival gets under way on the Cairns Esplanade with the Friday Festival Concert from 6pm. Rock the ’Nard with Soul Song Choir will kick things off, celebrating the best of Aussie Rock and culminating with a massive audience sing-along.

Also taking the stage is Nikki Doll & The Coconut Swing, followed by the urban, electronic and pop sounds of Jordan De La Cruz.

Across from the festival stage, children are invited to let their imaginations run wild in the event Citadel – It’s Latin For Little City. Part building, part artwork, part canvas, Citadel is made up of geometric mobile artworks that are also giant building blocks.

For the grown-ups, local comedy outfit Guilt Free Comedy will premiere a brand new comedy show created exclusively for 2018 Cairns Festival. Titled Paid or Pain! the show invites the audience to judge whether the comedians should be ‘paid’ cash for their performance or receive ‘pain’ from the house dominatrix.

Meanwhile, the popular City Lights program will light up the Cairns City Library every evening of the festival.

Saturday is all about the Grand Parade and Fireworks. With a new start time of 5pm, the Grand Parade will travel along the Cairns Esplanade from Minnie Street to Spence Street.

“The Grand Parade is always a massive event,” Mayor Bob Manning said. “Thousands of residents and visitors will line the street to cheer on the local community groups, businesses and schools that have gone to tremendous effort to create their unique floats.”

Cash prizes are on offer, with a brand new prize category for the best Eco-float.

“Judges will be looking for floats that have used recycled or sustainably sourced natural materials or support conservation initiatives,” Cr Manning said.

“But this is just the start of Cairns Festival. There are 10 amazing days ahead of us, with so much to see and do.

“This is a festival for Cairns people, by Cairns people and we encourage everyone to join in this celebration of life in Tropical North Queensland.”

As a thank-you to everyone supporting the event, free parking will be available on-street and at all Council-operated off-street carparks from 3pm on Saturday 25 August.

Normal regulations will apply for bus bays, disabled bays, loading zones, taxi bays and parking exclusion zones. Download the full Cairns Festival program at:

Listen Live!