The Gold Coast is well known for many things; stunning beaches, funky hangouts and a bustling nightlife being amongst the top. But the rise of the thriving cultural events is stealing the limelight, attracting crowds from all over who want to experience this growing trend for themselves.
At these spots, we can meet the artists, the performers, the chefs and creators on a new, and far more personal level. From street food stalls where you can try a vast array of international flavours, to cultural festivals where you can get immersed in sounds of the Pacific, you'll be confident knowing there’s an event on the coast perfect for you.
Here are eight fantastic places to get out and enjoy the culture the Gold Coast has to offer:
Connecting communities with art, Bleach* Festival is the perfect place to get a new impression of what art can bring. Theatre, dance and visual arts are performed utilising a variety of locations and landscapes in the city. Bleach* Festival comes around once per year and is held across three consecutive weekends. Stay up to date with their events via their Facebook page here.
This free, outdoor exhibition is celebrating its 14th year running. During the ten day festival, SWELL is open all day and night featuring more than 50 artists at various levels in their careers. The sculptures are created using any medium bringing us a combination of diverse, beautiful and thought-provoking designs. To make the most of SWELL, make sure to wander through during one of the twilight walks where sculptures are lit up under the night sky.
If the festival has sparked your inner creative being, book into the hands-on masterclass to learn techniques from one of the artists. Children’s classes are also available for the young creatives.
This community-based organisation has a diverse event calendar on offer. They’ve been supporting artists from a variety of cultural communities in Australia since 2012 with things like fundraising events and cultural festivals.
Possibly their most well-known event, the Gold Coast Multicultural Festival, is held every year to celebrate, showcase and unite the many diverse cultures of the Gold Coast. Entry tickets are free so you’ve got no excuse to miss it. Head in to the Gold Coast Multicultural Festival and indulge in the international food and catch a glimpse of the beautifully crafted arts and designs.
To stay up to date with the QCEA's various events, check out the calendar on Facebook here or on their website here.
The Arts Centre Gold Coast is home to regular performances including theatre, comedy, live music and festivals. The two cinemas feature arthouse and independent films alongside mainstream movies, even hosting their own Movie Review Club where you can discuss your thoughts with the group. Immerse yourself in the diverse and dynamic exhibitions of the Gold Coast City Gallery which showcases local, national and international exhibitions.
You can find all the Arts Centre Gold Coast event info here and the upcoming gallery exhibitions here.
The Chinatown Street Markets are a must-see for anyone obsessed with Asian cuisine. Inspired by flavours from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Korea, China and the Philippines, here you can find dim sims, rice paper rolls, chargrilled pork belly skewers, Chinese doughnuts and much more.
The markets run on the first Saturday of every second month, so be sure to add it to your calendar to avoid missing the next one. Opening hours are from 4pm-8pm.
If you’re ready to relax and let your hair down at the end of a busy week, head straight over to NightQuarter. This shipping container-filled precinct is a buzzing hub for music, markets, eats and events.
Running every Friday and Saturday from 4-10 pm, NightQuarter provides a lively location with plenty of options to choose from. Match a variety of street food and desserts to the craft beers, cocktails and Queensland wine before getting lost in all it has to offer. Diverse, local and completely unique, NightQuarter is guaranteed to lift your weekend spirits.
The Village Markets boast over 100 stalls uniting lovers all good things. Relax and unwind into the chilled vibe while meeting with passionate stall holders showcasing their boutique fashion, homewares, accessories and, of course, incredible food. The Village Markets run on the first and third Sunday of every month between 8:30am-1pm.
Marketta's special touch is the street food experience. You'll pick and choose from 25 food stalls serving diverse, international cuisine then sit down at tables in the laneway to feast in true street food style. Be sure to join in mid-week for Tapas Club where anything and everything gets served as tapas (mini finger food).
Tapas Club operates Wednesdays 5-9 pm.
Marketta Street Food operates Fridays 5-10 pm and Saturdays 4-10pm.