French food, fashion and flair will flood the River City when Australia’s largest French festival rolls into Brisbane for its sixth edition this July.

Now known as Le Festival, the 2016 Brisbane French Festival will return to Southbank’s Cultural Forecourt over three jam-packed days from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 July, following last year’s record crowd of more than 40,000 people.

This year’s Le Festival will see the famed French market stalls trade on the Friday evening and will showcase classic Deauville designs on the Air France Fashion Show catwalk.

Le Festival Director Betty Moinet says the success of previous festivals meant there were high expectations from the Queensland community.

“We are excited to have had the opportunity to extend the markets and host an Opening Night Party on the Friday night, which will feature tunes from French gypsy-jazz band La Mauvaise Reputation,” she says.

“New additions to the festival include a Zen Tent, French exhibitors Bijoux, Espadrilles and Raclette and Saturday night entertainment from the world’s only official Tribute Band for the iconic French electro-pop duo Daft Punk.”

Betty says the festival is a significant event for almost 5,000 local French-Australians, as it allows them to embrace and share their heritage with their friends and family.

“Le Festival also highlights Queensland’s affinity with France, as evidenced by the state’s compassionate response to the Paris attacks last year,” she says.

Festival favourites including food and wine masterclasses, the Air France Fashion Show, children’s entertainment and Total-sponsored VIP Tent will return for another year.

Le Festival has also partnered with Australian-based Bordeaux and Beyond to sponsor the ever-popular Wine Pavilion, which will offer patrons the rare opportunity to taste genuine Bordeaux wines from Chateau de Cadillac.

Le Festival will also lead up to Brisbane’s first ever French Week, from 11 to 16 July, which will showcase the products and services of Brisbane-based French organisations.

Betty Moinet said the festival’s ongoing popularity among Queenslanders spurred its extension into
French Week.

“After six successful years, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to further surprise and delight festival attendees and to introduce French Week, which is sure to be a staple on Brisbane’s cultural calendar,” she says.

“French Week will see us work in partnership with local French organisations, to host a range of activities and further immerse locals in the ‘fantastique’ French culture.”

Other major partners of this year’s Festival include Canard Duchene, Sofitel & Veolia, ensuring the 2016 edition of Le Festival is one to remember.

Le Festival will run from Friday 8 July to Sunday 10 July at Cultural Forecourt in South Bank Parklands.