SPARK Ipswich to celebrate city’s people, places, arts and culture

15 June 2021

The people, places, arts and culture of Ipswich will be celebrated when the 11-day city-wide festival SPARK Ipswich is held this July.

The festival will take music, comedy, arts, exhibitions, circus, projection, culture, cabaret, technology, collaboration and industry discussion across the city.

Mayor Teresa Harding said she is looking forward to celebrating everything that makes the city so special.

“SPARK tells our story with a tapestry of world-class events,” Mayor Harding said.

“Light and water displays at St Mary’s Church and the Bremer River will be centre stage as we celebrate the diverse people, places, arts and culture that make our city so vibrant, liveable and fun,” Mayor Harding said.

A major drawcard of the festival is set to be SPARK After Dark, which will include three major light installations within walking distance of each other in the Ipswich CBD.

The works of 11 local artists will be profiled like never before as part of deLight when they are projected onto the iconic St Mary’s Church.

Council’s new administration building in Nicholas Street will light up with artworks created by equations while the Bremer River will become centre stage for Refraction - an art, light and water installation defined by the refraction of light through liquid, creating an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour.

Refraction is a fully immersive experience with viewers encouraged to dress warm and bring their digital device and headphones to experience the soundtrack of the installation.

Families are a big focus throughout SPARK Ipswich, with the first contemporary music and arts festival for children, called Little Day Out, to engage the young and young at heart.

With a focus on sustainability, Little Day Out at Ripley Town Centre will be bursting with music, hands-on arts experiences, roving entertainment, food and fun.

Little Day Out fun will include Regurgitator’s POGOGO Show on the main stage with The Feral Cats of Tokyo, plus there will be musical instrument making, nature play, mural painting, a silent disco, circus workshops and more.

SPARK on Tour takes the action city-wide with the family-friendly production Chores and Circus Ipswich workshops hitting the road for events at Peak Crossing, Rosewood, Brassall and Goodna.

Music lovers will be spoiled for choice, with 16 acts across eight sessions taking over four live music venues along Brisbane Street, between Waghorn and West Streets, for an epic night of indie live music.

Two of Ipswich’s oldest musical institutions – Ipswich Orpheus Chorale and Amberley Brass – along with Jam Pact will join forces with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra - for a festival highlight, the Best of British concert at St Mary’s Church.

The concert will feature an evening of British music ranging from Sir Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

The festival will draw to a close with a night to remember when after 10 years of selling out festivals worldwide, Briefs Factory bring their Dirty Laundry cabaret show to Ipswich.

Led by former Raceview local Fez Faanana, aka Shivanana, Dirty Laundry promises a night of physicality, gob-smacking comedy, unapologetic truths and ridiculous showmanship.

Culture, Arts and Sports Committee chair Councillor Andrew Fechner said he was excited by the introduction of fresh, new content to appeal to younger and more diverse audiences.

“We are a young city and it’s important we present a program that appeals to all ages and SPARK Ipswich has done just that,” Cr Fechner said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Brisbane Street activated for Waghorn to West and Australia’s first ever dedicated contemporary music, arts and sustainability festival for under 10s right here in Ipswich.”

SPARK Ipswich delivers 14 events across 11 days. The full festival program is available at

SPARK Ipswich is delivered through the support of the following partners:

Foundation Partners: Ipswich City Council and The Queensland Government; Major Partners: Tourism and Events Queensland, Ripley Town Centre, Riverlink Shopping Centre and Stockland Providence; Support Partners: Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC), Ipswich Junior Grammar School, QMusic, and Quest Springfield Central; Media Partners: Bishopp, 9News Queensland and The Queensland Times; Programming Partners: Ipswich Art Gallery, Studio 188, Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich Catholic Community and Ipswich Libraries.

SPARK Ipswich is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.