What’s on at Enlighten Festival 2018

Published on 01 March 2018

Walk among the giant jellyfish, belt out Bohemian Rhapsody and stay up late to explore Canberra’s hidden recesses. Here are our picks for the best of Enlighten 2018.

What’s on at Enlighten Festival, 2 – 18 March


The annual Enlighten Festival brings out the best in Canberra – lighting up otherwise quiet corners of the city and inviting locals to celebrate all that is great about the capital. This year, you’ll find more immersive light projections, performances, food stalls and public art than ever – and with over two weeks’ worth of events to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Read on for our picks of the best of the festival.

The Jellyfish Bloom

Ever wondered what it would feel like to walk the ocean’s depths? This installation of large scale jellyfish sculptures simulates the feeling, calling on visitors to dive in and explore the intricacies of a four-metre-high tentacle forest. Triggered by motion sensors as you walk through, the jellyfish sculptures’ 3600 LED displays mimic the jellyfish’s response to humans in the wild. Commissioned by Canberra Centre and made specifically for Enlighten by AMPLE Projects, the display is designed to remind us of our influence on the world’s precious ecosystems.

Kids can collect a jellyfish trail map from customer service. Spot all the jellyfish for a special gift.

1 March – 1 April
Location: Various locations (collect a colouring in sheet and stickers for the kids at the Customer Service desk and help them find the Jelly Fish throughout the Centre)
Cost: Free

More information: www.canberracentre.com.au 

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Spread over nine days, this mesmerising view of hot air balloons landing on the lawns of Old Parliament House is serious postcard-worthy material. More than 30 hot air balloons from around the world are expected to take to the sky from 6.15am each day. It’s free to come down as a spectator, or if you’re game, you can organise your very own dawn flight over the city.

Date: Saturday 10 Mar – Sunday 18 March
Time: from 6.15am
Location: Old Parliament House lawn
Cost: free for spectators.

More information: www.enlightencanberra.com 

Symphony in the Park

Get ready for a night of singalongs – this is a symphonic rock experience for the whole family. Get down early to nab a spot on the lawns at Commonwealth Park as Canberra Symphony Orchestra joins Queen tribute band Killer Queen Experience for a cross-genre musical journey through Queen’s top hits. Bring a picnic hamper and rug and make a night of it.

Date: 11 March
Time: 7pm
Location: Stage 88, Commonwealth Park
Cost: free

More information: www.enlightencanberra.com 

Late Night Eats

Staying out late to catch all the action in the centre of town? Canberra Centre’s late-night dining precinct is primed to keep you energised. Head to Jamie’s Italian for rustic pasta, CBD Dumpling House for a family-friendly feast, Raku for refined Japanese, hearty Malaysian at PappaRich and more. All are open until 11pm, except CBD Dumpling House, which closes at 10pm.

Visit the 'EAT' section on our website.