Cairns Festival, Australia

Come and celebrate the laid-back lifestyle, unique natural environment and vibrant community spirit of Cairns at the annual Cairns Festival, held every year in late August through to September. 

From street performers, live music, workshops, and various events throughout the Festival to the Grand Parade and favourites such as Carnival on Collins and Sunday on the ‘Nard - there is something for everyone at Cairns Festival. 

The Cairns Festival will introduce ‘The Making Place’ in 2017, a dedicated free performance space and workshop where local talents thrive. 

Stories from the region will be highlighted in amazing 3D visual projections on the Cairns City Library and other buildings in the CBD as part of City Lights. 

Plus, don’t miss the internationally acclaimed show Circa, which will be presented in the newly completed Munro Martin Parklands. 

The highlight of the Festival for most people is the Grand Parade - where the Cairns Esplanade comes alive with many different brightly coloured and uniquely decorated floats made by local groups. The parade makes its way along the Esplanade with music, dancers, entertainment and fun. Make sure you get down early to secure a good position to watch the parade and show your support!

The Cairns Festival is the perfect way to celebrate everything that makes Cairns great, with events that are sure to keep everyone in the family entertained! 

Why not book your Cairns holiday to coincide with the Cairns Festival? August/September is an amazing time to visit Cairns and Tropical Far North Queensland, with perfect temperatures and very little rainfall. 

During Cairns Festival, the Esplanade, City Place, and nearby areas within the city will come alive with action, events, artists, and buskers.

A great time to be in the city of Cairns enjoying the sunshine, good times and lot's and lots of entertainment!

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Cairns Festival Street ParadeCairns Festival FireworksCairns Festival Live Music

26 August 2016
Close Contact Stage, Cairns Esplanade
Enjoy a FREE concert on Cairns Esplanade with Cairns' emerging artists and local musicians. Concert scheduled to kick off 6pm.

Harry James Angus, Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns 

Experience the amazing talent of Harry James Angus - best known as the trumpet playing singer from The Cat Empire!  Harry James Angus brings Jazz, music and incredible on stage improvisations.  An unmissable event for Jazz fans!  Tickets $40 / $35 Concession 

27 August 2016
Grand Parade & Fireworks, Cairns Esplanade
10am - Late including 5:30pm Parade & 7:30pm Fireworks

Celebrating Cairns' diverse community the "Colours of Us" Grand Parade is a great Family Friendly event.  Throughout the day Carins Festival main stage will provide all day entertainment with the Ukulele Community Concert & Markets from 10am.   Look out for the Drum Monster and funky Roving street performers from 3pm along with Esplanade with the Grand Parade at 5:30pm, and family Fireworks at 7:30pm.  Make a day of it - and celebrate with us!  

28 August 2016
Family Fun Day, Muddy's Lawn Cairns Esplanade
9am - 1pm

Sunday on the 'Nard is a huge day of Free Family Entertainment on the lawn at Muddy's along Cairns Esplanade.  Colours of Us Tent from 9am - 1pm will help create a magical atmosphere for the kids to play, enjoy Story Weaving Workshop and create a puppet creature from recycled items.  Enjoy the live music by Simthfield Jazz Band, WD and the Funky Tones, ARC Beat Drummers plus more from 9:30am - 1pm.

Festival Family Concert, Cairns Esplanade
Enjoy a family afternoon on the Cairns Esplanade and be entertained by the explosive sounds of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra and talented local artists kicking off from 4pm!  Relax on a blanket, or get up and dance to the talents of Brealyn Sheehan, In the Element, Royal Bodiez and at 6:30pm Melbourne Ska Orchestra!

29 & 30 August 2016
The Making Place, 
Eastern Event Lawn Cairns Esplanade
5:00pm - 7pm

Enjoy making new things and new friends at the free Workshops at the Making Place.

1st & 2nd September 2016
Family Film Night, 
Next to Lagoon Cairns Esplanade

Bring a picnic rug and enjoy a Free Family film under the stars on Cairns Esplanade. 
1st September Movie: Fern Gully The Last Rainforest
2nd September Movie: Oddball

3rd September 2016
Salt House Food & Wine Festival, 
Salthouse Marina Point Cairns
11:00am - 11pm
Enjoy food, wine and entertainment at the Salt House Food & Wine Festival.  Tickets $10

3rd September 2016
Jazz Under the Stars, 
Flecker Gardens, Cairns Botanic Gardens
4:30pm - 9pm
Experience the magic of the Cairns Botanic Gardens at night, as you enjoy an evening of local musicians featuring Barrier Reef Jazz Band, Hot & Wet Swing Set, Smithfield Jazz Academy and more....  Remember your picnic rug, basket and drinks!  Tickets $15 at the door

4th September 2016
Carnival on Collins, 
Tanks Art Centre, Cairns Botanic Gardens
Celebrate Father's Day at the annual Carnival on Collins at Cairns' Botanic Gardens and Tanks Art Centre.  Enjoy a range of live entertainment, food stalls and markets - Fun for Dad and whole family!

2012 Cairns Festival 17th August - 2nd Spetember 2012

Cairns Festival Is In Its 51st Year

Friday 17th August and Sunday 2nd September 2012

This years' Cairns Festival will be an action packed 17 day festival featuring artists, entertainers, musicians, and dancers from Cairns and surrounding regions all joining forces and coming together for a big party around the city of Cairns in Queensland Australia.

This event is hosted by the Cairns City Regional Council and it is created around the regions colourful character and multicultural community and showcases talents of locals in all sorts of artistic mediums.

While there will be many new events gracing the 2012 year's program, we are pleased to include the annual highlights, namely Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Esplanart outdoor exhibition of visual art, the opening Grand Parade, Tropical Pride Festival, Carnival on Collins and Muddy's Art Village.

The 2012 Grand Street Parade is scheduled for Saturday 18th August, and will again include 50 plus floats from throughout the Cairns community, an amazing pyrotechnic fireworks show, and free entertainment on The Esplanade for all the family.

Other Festival Cairns venues for artistic events include the Civic Theatre, Tanks Arts Centre, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, and the beautiful beachside village of Palm Cove.

We would love you to please join us for some fantastic events and if you feel you would like to participate in any of the activities please contact us HERE at