Annual events

Each year, the Gold Coast lights up with its diverse major events calendar setting the city aglow as a premiere destination for world-class festivals, thrilling sporting events , and captivating outdoor experiences.

We invite you to be a part of these exceptional major events with a curated list of must attend experiences below:

Somerset Storyfest

Gold Coast, 25-27 March 2024

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.

Pho3nix Gold Coast Triathlon (Luke Harrop Memorial)

Mitchell Park Southport, 6-7 April 2024

The Pho3nix Gold Coast Tri – Luke Harrop Memorial has long been known as the triathlon for triathletes – if there is one race on the calendar not to miss, this is it.

Come and join in some fast and flat racing at the beautiful Broadwater Parklands at the northern end of the Gold Coast. With Sprint, Enticer and Pho3nix Kids Triathlon options available, there is something for everyone. (There is even a 1km kids run for some fun!)

Why not make a weekend of it and bring the kids down to “Try a Tri” in the Pho3nix Kids Triathlon, before you take on your own race on the Sunday! It’s completely free.

Australian Age and Open Swimming Championships

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, 6-20 April 2024

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.

Supanova

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 13-14 April 2024

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 Jodie Whittaker, Doctor Who and Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian as well as Justice League’s Phil Lamarr.  Up, up and away!

Gold Coast Swim Week

Gold Coast, 14-21 April 2024

Gold Coast Swim Week is a week-long celebration of swimming with ocean swims and leading coaches and special guests hosting clinics and training sessions along Gold Coast beaches and pools.

The 14th annual Cooly Classic Ocean Swim will open the program on April 14.  This is the Gold Coast’s largest ocean swimming event, with swims from 1.0km to 5.0km starting at Snapper Rocks.  It attracts a huge range of abilities, from past and present Olympians to the general public of all ages, including age categories from 8 to 70+ years.

Your Start line, Snapper Rocks, is one of the world’s most famous surf breaks. Then, your course is a straight line to Kirra Beach, passing Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and Coolangatta Beaches as you swim.

Throughout the week, there’ll be a range of small group sessions and clinics with guest coaches.  This is a chance to receive specialist coaching and also swim with local squads at some of the Gold Coast’s favourite open water training locations.

For full details on the Cooly Classic events, please visit those event pages through the Main Menu.

Gold Coast Film Festival 

HOTA, Home of the Arts, 17-28 April 2024

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.

7News Gold Coast Running Festival

CBUS Super Stadium, 28 April 2024

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.

Gold Coast Pro

Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, 27 April – 4 May, 2024

The 2024 Gold Coast Pro presented by GWM will be held at Snapper Rocks, the world’s most famous right-hand sandy point break and a favourite location for the globe’s best surfers.

With a great vantage point to watch the world’s top surfers go head to head, the seven-day competition will be held in the high-quality surf month with the  Gold Coast Pro presented by GWM kicking off the 2023 WSL Challenger Series in Australia.

The Gold Coast has been host to major surfing events since 1977. The Gold Coast Pro is an annual event that attracts thousands of spectators to the beach daily. For over 20 years we’ve seen the Gold Coast Pro take place at Snapper Rocks and feature the world’s best surfers in some of the world’s best waves.

Snapper Rocks is a location all highly-ranked surfers dream to compete at and these contests serve an exhibition of state-of-the-art, high-performance surfing while spectators enjoy the competition from the beach.

Blues on Broadbeach

Broadbeach, 16-19 May 2024

This hugely popular free beachside music festival features international and Australian blues music performers in over 20 performance areas throughout the vibrant streets, venues and parks of Broadbeach.. 2024’s lineup features a soul-stirring journey through rhythm and blues with the magic of international blues-rock royalty with the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton, Ana Popovic, and the incomparable Eric Bibb. These blues legends, plus many more will wow fans and provide an unforgettable four days of music..

This year, Blues on Broadbeach is proudly featuring some of the world’s finest female blues guitarists, turning the stage into a haven for the genre-benders and trailblazers.

Back for its third year, the Twelve Bar Society will elevate the festival experience for avid fans, bringing together blues music lovers from far and wide with exclusive members-only inclusions – tickets on sale now.

Cooly Rocks On Festival

Coolangatta, 5-9 June 2024

Renowned as Australia’s largest nostalgia festival, Cooly Rocks On is a celebration of the motors, music and lifestyle of yesteryear.

Cooly Rocks On attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Coolangatta from right across Australia and overseas to enjoy some of the very best rockabilly, rock’n’roll, and tribute artists from around the world.

So much more than just the music, the festival offers a Pin-up Pageant, vintage markets and a strong motors element, with an impressive collection of vehicles on display in what is renowned as one of Australia’s best Show ‘N’ Shine displays. Festivalgoers can also wander through a Kustom Kulture precinct showcasing hot rods, kustom vehicles, lowbrow art, and partake in several Car Runs taking off from Coolangatta, allowing die-hard motor enthusiasts to convoy to various locations across the Gold Coast.

In a unique offering, Cooly Rocks On is one of only ten festivals held globally to host an official preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, an Elvis Presley Enterprises event, with the winner heading straight to Elvis Week, in Memphis, USA to represent Australia.

BIG CITY LIGHTS* Festival

Southport, Gold Coast 21 June – 7 July 2024 (Over 3 weekends, Fri-Sun)

Big City Lights* is a new festival of urban and digital design, digital culture, music and light taking place in the heart of Southport CBD.

Following an extremely successful pilot program in 2022, Big City Lights* is back in winter 2024 in Southport over three weekends (Fri-Sun)

The cutting-edge self-guided program will feature immersive audio-visual experiences, large-scale digital works, 3D-mapping and unexpected projection sites that will transform the Gold Coast’s everyday urban spaces. Big City Lights* will also feature live music and performances in venues and at outdoor sites across the Southport CBD, adding to the appeal of the free, family- friendly festival to a wide demographic of locals and drive-market visitors.

Building facades and laneways in the city’s CBD will be transformed into hypnotic and technicolour displays by leading local and national artists working in the fields of light, installation, architecture, and digital design, complimented with live performances.

Mudgeeraba Agricultural Show

Mudgeeraba Showgrounds, 29-30 June 2024

The 94th 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!

Gold Coast Marathon

Southport to Burleigh, 6-7 July 2024

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.

BLEACH* Festival

Across the Gold Coast, 1-11 August 2024

BLEACH* is one of Australia’s leading and most exciting site-specific contemporary arts programs.

Presented by Experience Gold Coast, the festival celebrates the city’s most dynamic and adventurous artists, welcomes renowned Australian and international collaborators and engages a broad audience through a range of events. Utilising the Gold Coast’s world-famous natural landscape as unconventional venues, Bleach* aims to deliver incredible arts and cultural experiences that challenge expectations, change perceptions and provide a unique and authentic sense of place, inspiring both locals and visitors alike.

The full re-imagined program with a full line-up of artists and events coming soon!

Gold Coast Music Awards

HOTA, Home of the Arts, 5 September 2024

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 September. 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.

SPRINGTIME 

Surfers Paradise, 6-8 September 2024

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!

SWELL Sculpture Festival

Currumbin, 6-15 September 2024

Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition!

Main exhibition held along Currumbin, Gold Coast, QueenslandExperience pop up exhibitions across the Gold Coast, as well as SWELL Smalls Gallery at it’s beachside venue and cultural programming at SWELL Fringe in Wallace Nicoll Park, Currumbin.Come face to face with awe-inspiring sculptures by local, national and international artists at the 22nd SWELL Sculpture Festival 6 – 15 September 2024.Stay a little longer and discover a range of unique experiences; guided twilight walks through the artworks, live music, comedy, masterclasses, artist talks next to the sculptures and artist led workshops.SWELL Sculpture Festival inspires and captures the hearts and minds of all who visit.

Groundwater Country Music Festival

Broadbeach, 18-20 October 2024

Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF) is one of four events proudly produced by Major Events Gold Coast and will return from 18-20 October 2024 for its 11th year.

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!

Be sure to follow Groundwater CMF on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to stay up to date on all the latest festival news!

Gold Coast 500

Surfers Paradise, 25-27 October 2024

The Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 returns to the streets of Surfers Paradise 25 – 27 October 2024 for the 30th anniversary of the SUpercars on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast stop is one of 13 Championship Rounds held across Australia and New Zealand between March and November 2024.

The streets of Surfers Paradise will transform into a world-class street circuit as tens of thousands of racing enthusiasts flock to get a glimpse of the action whilst Australia’s hottest DJs and international stars take to the Club 500 stage on Macintosh Island at night. Be there as Mustang takes on Camaro at this iconic street circuit. Whether you are a long-term fan or someone looking to experience a Supercars event for the first time, there is entertainment both on and off track to suit all attendees.

The Gold Coast 500 is a perfect display of just how the many Gold Coast venues and spaces can be transformed to suit any major event.

The Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 is proudly supported by Experience Gold Coast.

 

Past Events

 

The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday

Gold Coast, 3-16 January 2024

The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival is a fortnight-long celebration of all things equine. Join them for 14 magnificent days on Australia’s number one holiday destination – The Gold Coast!

Kicking off celebrations with the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo and Showjumping on Sunday.
On the morning of Tuesday, the beauty and power of Thoroughbreds enjoying the Surfers Paradise foreshore will be a feature of The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Barrier Draw, while premium yearlings from around Australia will go under the hammer from Tuesday onwards in the action-packed Sales arena.

Come Raceday all eyes will turn to the track for the renowned AUD14.25 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday, hosting the who’s who of the social and racing scenes – gathering to celebrate the highlight of the Carnival calendar.

The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival in 2024 will be a year not to be missed!

AACTA Festival

HOTA, Home of the Arts, 8-11 February 2024

A four-day entertainment festival with more than 70 events!

The Australian Academy Presents the Inaugural AACTA Festival. With more than 70 film, television, music, gaming, pop culture and family events coming to the Gold Coast.

Step into a world beyond the screen, at AACTA Festival! Join The Australian Academy where you can go behind the scenes of your favourite films, TV shows, and games. Learn from some of Australia’s best directors, writers, TikTokers , gamers and artists!

SummerSalt

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.

Gold Coast Open

Gold Coast, 16-18 February 2024

After a hugely successful event in 2023, the Gold Coast Open will return in 2024.

The three-day event will see some of the world’s best surfers from all corners of the globe battle it out against Australia’s best surfers. As an added value, attendees can look forward to other attractions including live bands, skateboarding events and sunrise yoga sessions.

Gold Coast Open

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!

Australian Age and Open Swimming Championships

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.

Supanova

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!

Gold Coast Film Festival 

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.

7News Gold Coast Running Festival

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.

Swim the Gold Coast

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.

Gold Coast Pro

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.

Blues on Broadbeach

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 International Boat Show

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.

SeaFire

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.

Cooly Rocks On Festival

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 Agricultural Show

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.

Gold Coast Marathon

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.

Surface Festival

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.

BLEACH* Festival

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*.

Pacific Airshow

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.

Coolangatta Gold

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.

Spilt Milk

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!

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.