Every year, Gold Coast’s events calendar expands as the city’s reputation for hosting world-class festivals, sporting events, and outdoor activations grows.
In 2023, some of the best artists, athletes, writers, musicians, pilots and filmmakers will be gracing our golden shores as part of an exciting and eclectic array of major events.
And here’s our list of the ones you shouldn’t miss.
Broadbeach Bowls Club, Club Helensvale, Club Musgrave, 29 August – 10 September 2023
World Bowls Championships will be arriving on the Gold Coast in August 2023. Taking advantage of the Gold Coast’s world class bowls facilities, thanks to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the tournament is held across the Gold Coast a feature a whopping 36 attending nations, presented by hundreds of competitors. For lawn bowls lovers, it’s an absolute must-do.
HOTA, Home of the Arts, 31 August 2023
Gold Coast’s premiere music industry event Gold Coast Music Awards will once again roll out the red carpet at HOTA, Home of the Arts in August. A celebration of the Gold Coast’s incredible musical talent, this glittering event features special guest MCs, bespoke and much-coveted trophies by local artist Dion Parker, live music performances and as always, the Gold Coast’s best after-party.
Surfers Paradise, 1-3 September 2023
SPRINGTIME first bloomed on the beach and streets of Surfers Paradise in 2022. Back again for another round of GOOD TIMES, the three-day festival brings together a colourful lineup of Aussie music artists to kiss the winter blues goodbye and say hello to spring! Get your mates together for a weekend celebration under the sun featuring the VANS Skate Plaza, live performance installations, art murals, and more to welcome in the new season. Did we mention it’s totally free? When we say good times, we mean it!
Currumbin, 8-17 September 2023
Now in its 21st year, this beloved outdoor arts festival will once more present over 70 works by Australian and international artists along the iconic stretch of Currumbin Beach. With well over 100,000 visitors expected, SWELL Sculpture Festival has grown to include satellite activations around the Gold Coast. The Currumbin precinct will also come alive with artist talks, live music, kid’s classes, workshops and a Fringe Festival, to boot. SWELL remains Queensland’s premiere outdoor sculpture festival and a flagship, not-to-be-missed annual event. And did we mention it’s free and family-friendly?
Coolangatta to Broadbeach, 8 – 9 October 2023
As one of the most challenging endurance races in surf lifesaving, the Coolangatta Gold is a globally renowned Ironman event that now attracts hundreds of participants each year. Set along Gold Coast’s pristine shores from Cooly to Broadbeach, the race consists of four challenging legs: a 23km Ski, 9.2km run (broken up between 2.1km and 7.1km legs), 3.5km swim and a 6.1km board, with the icing on the cake being the whopping $20,000 prize on offer for competitors. Groms are not forgotten either, with a youth challenge which consists of a 1.8km of sand run and an optional board leg for 11 to 16-year-olds.
Broadbeach, 20-22 October 2023
Broadbeach comes alive again with free tunes in October, when Groundwater Country Music Festival brings scores of incredible country artists to the precinct for three days of non-stop, toe-tappin’, foot-stompin’, heart-pumpin’ fun. Official line-up announcements will be made throughout the year, and we know from past events that the stages, parks and streets of Broady will most certainly feature a veritable who’s who of country music in all its wonderful variations, delivered by some of the best national and international artists around. Yeehaw!
Surfers Paradise, 27-29 October 2023
Join the Party in Paradise in 2023 with the Gold Coast 500. Experience breakfast events, surf, sand, engines and Supercars by day and headlining musical acts across multiple stages by night. Whether you’re racing or just enjoying the non-stop high-octane party vibes, you’ll definitely need some endurance.
Gold Coast Sports Precinct, Carrara, 26 November 2023
Spilt Milk music, food, and arts festival is coming back to the Gold Coast this year at the Gold Coast Sports Precinct. With an envious line-up boasting headliner Post Malone, plus local Aussie acts Cub Sport, Ocean Alley and Lime Cordiale to name a few, the one-day fest is set to go off!
Events already held in 2023 – we’re hoping they’re back for 2024!
Various courses across the Gold Coast, 2-6 January 2023
Ahoy there! The Southport Yacht Club’s spectacular high summer offshore sailing regatta, Qoin Sail Paradise, will be staged over courses set between Main Beach and the Queensland/NSW border. A five-day event with four days of magnificent racing, Qoin Sail Paradise will be held on the beautiful ocean waters off the Gold Coast’s golden beaches, allowing spectators on the shore to be enthralled by the closeness of the racing and the blaze of colour that will come from the yachts’ many and varied spinnakers. The festivities continue onshore, with daily race results and live entertainment nightly at Southport Yacht Club’s Main Beach Clubhouse.
BMD Northcliffe SLSC, 10-11 January 2023
This prestigious Ironman event will feature its biggest prize pool ever in 2023, making it one of the most hotly contested Ironman competitions around. Held over two days of nail-biting events, spectators can catch some of the best Ironmen and Ironwomen in action as they compete in open swim, open board and open ski events alongside juniors in the under 17s Kracka board series. Protein shakes all round.
Gold Coast Turf Club, 14 January 2023
Time to break out the fascinators, because The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday is back in 2023. One of the richest and most renowned racedays in Australia and now worth $11.75 million in prizemoney across ten races, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday is the pinnacle race meeting of the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival. Also returning in 2023 is the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo and Showjumping, held at Doug Jennings Park in Main Beach, a perfect day out for the kids.
Broadwater Parklands, 12 February 2023
SummerSalt is back for another season of sun-kissed summer fun with more of Australia’s favourite artists live in some of the most picturesque beachside locations in the country. 2023’s lineup is a pretty exciting affair, featuring big-hitters Angus & Julia Stone, Ben Harper, City and Colour, The Rubens, Middle Kids, and Alex the Astronaut. Grab your mates and head on in for sun-drenched days, followed by dancing the night away under the stars. Ahhh, Summer on the Gold Coast.
Burleigh Heads, 17-19 February 2023
Gold Coast and surfing are somewhat synonymous, so it makes sense that our fair city plays host to a major surfing event like the Gold Coast Open. Watch some of the planet’s best surfers take on the local talent at the world-famous break in Burleigh Heads. And it’s not just about surf, either, with the three-day event featuring other attractions including live bands, skateboarding events and sunrise yoga sessions. Surf’s up!
Gold Coast, 28-30 March 2023
Following in the footsteps of literary tradition, Storyfest is the writers’ festival for the Gold Coast, the cornerstone of which is its annual three-day event held in March. Delivering a series of literary experiences along with workshops, masterclasses and featured authors, this festival celebrates the written word in the most charming fashion. This award-winning organisation also offers 130 events to the wider community throughout the year, making it a staple of Gold Coast’s cultural calendar.
Mitchell Park Southport, 1-2 April 2023
The Pho3nix Foundation is a non-profit organisation with the sole purpose of promoting physical activity as a way to improve health and wellbeing among children, so it makes perfect sense that the 2023 Pho3nix Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial will also run next to the Pho3nix Kids Gold Coast Triathlon (a free event). The main event is known as the triathlon for triathletes, so it’s well worth a watch as super-fit humans battle it out for the top spot.
Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, 7-20 April 2023
Swimming and Aussies go hand in hand. It’s always an electric atmosphere when spectators are cheering on their faves in the pool, and the Australian Age and Open Swimming Championships are certainly no exception, with thousands of excited fans expected in the stands for this high energy 14-day meet. Gold Coast Aquatic Centre will play host to some of Australia’s most elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes in April, alongside the next generation of stars, in a completely integrated program for multi-class and able-bodied swimmers.
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 15-16 April 2023
Get suited up for the supa fun-tastic Supanova, Gold Coast’s colourful annual pop culture festival featuring cosplay, comics, sci-fi, anime, video games. Guests are a big part of it too, and in 2023 the guest list includes Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackoff and Mark Sheppard, as well as Justice League’s Phil Lamarr and Veronica Taylor from Pokemon. Up, up and away!
Across the Gold Coast, 19 – 30 April 2023
Gold Coast’s flagship film event, Gold Coast Film Festival, is an absolute dream come true for cinema lovers. Eleven days of fresh and exciting screenings, premieres, Q+As and pop-up events take over the Gold Coast, from the home cinema hub of HOTA, Home of the Arts to Southport rooftop cinema, floating cinema and the always sold-out Women in Film lunch. Get glammed up to check out the red carpet where stars such as Simon Baker, George Takei, Sigrid Thornton and many more have strutted their stuff over the years. It’s Hollywood done Gold Coast-style.
CBUS Super Stadium, 23 April 2023
Putting the fun back in fun run, the Gold Coast Running Festival is a casual and family-friendly celebration of sweat, speed and sandshoes that takes place on a closed circuit and six different lengths: Three-quarter marathon (new in 2023), 21.1km half marathon, and 10km, 5km, 2.5km and 1km fun runs/walks. Be sure to bring the kidlets along, because there’s definitely something here for everyone.
Kirra to Surfers Paradise, 6 May 2023
Swim the Gold Coast features a stunning but gruelling 21km course that is most definitely not for the faint-hearted. The long course spans the length of the Gold Coast, from Kirra Beach in the South, to the iconic cityscape of Surfers Paradise in the North. In 2023 organisers have added a 10km course and a brand new Gold Coast Swim Week festival: A seven day celebration of swimming with events from one to 20 kilometres, opening the whole event up to more eager participants.
Snapper Rocks, 6-13 May 2023
Gold Coast’s other major surfing event, the Gold Coast Pro, has been taking place at what is arguably the city’s most famous break at Snapper Rocks for the last twenty years. Featuring the world’s best surfers in some of the world’s best waves, the Gold Coast Pro sees up to 10,000 daily spectators grab a vantage spot to watch the action.
Broadbeach, 18-21 May 2023
This epic free music festival sees the Broadbeach precinct taken over by 20 different stages and scores of talented national and international artists for four days of the best blues, country, folk, roots and rock music the world has to offer. 2023’s lineup features musical royalty like Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Marcus Scott & The Bo-Keys, The Kevin Borich Express, and The Turner Brown Band, to name a few. Grab your mates, head in for a bite and a bevvie, and get your festival on. Fedora optional.
Sanctuary Cove, 25-28 May 2023
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (aka the greatest show afloat) is an unmissable annual boating lifestyle event. Across more than 330 exhibitors and 1,000 marine products, you’ll find the latest boating tech, equipment and advice plus exclusive waterside VIP experiences. Who doesn’t love a day by the water, complete with superyachts.
Surfers Paradise, 3 June 2023
SeaFire will light up the sky of Surfers Paradise when South America and Africa, two of the world’s best pyrotechnic regions, will compete on the shores of Surfers Paradise Beach for the coveted title of the competition. Three breath-taking firework and music displays will light up the sky at 7pm and 8pm, with the grand finale at 8:45pm.
Coolangatta, 7-11 June 2023
Turn back the clock in Cooly with the ultimate celebration of yesteryear. Cooly Rocks On Festival boasts an incredible line-up of some of the best rock ‘n’ roll, swing, rockabilly and tribute artists from around the world, and is one out of ten festivals held around the world to host an official preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, with the winner heading straight to Elvis Week, in Memphis, USA to represent Australia. Die-hard motor enthusiasts will drool over the hot rods, custom vehicles, lowbrow art, and Car Run convoys, while old school rockabilly fans will love the pin-up pageant, Moonlight Swing Dance and retro goods markets.
Mudgeeraba Showgrounds, 24-25 June 2023
The 93rd annual Mudgeeraba Agricultural Show is a celebration of agriculture, animals, food stalls, live entertainment, equestrian events, wood chopping, pavilion arts and crafts, and much more. With so many incredible events and exhibits, the Mudgeeraba Agricultural Show is not just a spectator experience – it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a real country Show, haybales and all! Tickets are available online now.
Southport to Burleigh, 1-2 July 2023
The world-class Gold Coast Marathon is famous for its flat, fast and scenic course, located alongside the Gold Coast’s renowned surf beaches and stunning Broadwater. The ideal winter running conditions feature low humidity, little wind and mild temperatures. This results in 60% of participants achieving personal best times each year, making it perfect for those looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s also terrific for spectators, with plenty of picturesque spots to pull up and cheer for your mates. With a wheelchair marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km and junior dash courses running alongside the main event, there’s no excuse not to get amongst it.
Miami Marketta, 2-16 July 2023
The Miami Street Art Festival, SURFACE, returns to the streets for the third annual year this winter school holidays! From 2 to 16 July artists from a variety of mediums will showcase their work across the many surfaces of Miami and you’re invited to walk, ride, roll and stroll through the streets and witness it all unfold. Expect to see large-scale murals, outdoor art exhibitions, gallery nights, live music laneway concerts, school holiday events and more.
Across the Gold Coast, 3-13 August 2023
BLEACH* Festival, presented by Gold Coast’s premiere arts organisation Placemakers*, is one of Australia’s leading arts events. Utilising the wealth of stunning spaces across the Gold Coast as theatrical backdrops for a range of unique and thought-provoking installations and performances, BLEACH* Festival is a huge tourist draw for the city and captures the public imagination through First Nations cultural experiences, dance, storytelling, original composition, cirque and much more. You never know what you’ll see around the corner at BLEACH*.
Gold Coast, 18-20 August 2023
Gold Coast events are being taken to new heights with the inclusion of our city’s inaugural aviation and lifestyle spectacular on the 2023 events calendar. Be blown away by high-speed shenanigans during three days of live choreographed performances by civilian and military aircraft from around the world, complemented by a range of live activations and jaw-dropping tricks. It’s the world’s biggest and most attended airshow, with a downunder twist.
Note: The event dates listed are correct at time of publishing. Event details are subject to change, please check the official event websites for the latest information.