The Main Arena will come alive each night of show with the spectacular never before seen night show EkkaNITES, featuring world firsts and great family entertainment.
The night show is made up of tradition, action-packed acts and of course the breathtaking fireworks finale - and this year it’s all about catering to the kids.
EkkaNITES will again feature not one, but TWO spectacular fireworks shows! The Children's Early Fireworks presented by MG Motor will take place at 6pm for all the tired little eyes that won't stay open for ther later ones at 7:40pm.
2017 Entertainment Lineup
CHILDREN'S FIREWORKS PRESENTED BY MG MOTOR
Kids won’t have to wait up past their bedtime to see spectacular fireworks light up the Ekka sky, with new children’s fireworks at 6pm.
Inspired by the colours of the stunning Great Barrier Reef - one of the seven wonders of the natural world – bright coloured pyrotechnics designed especially for the show will fire high into the sky to replicate the beautiful corals.
Giant kites featuring fish, dolphins, whales and an octopus will swim and sway effortlessly through the sky, while stilt walkers will be beautifully themed in flowing ocean costumes.
The fireworks display will be enhanced by soundtracks from Finding Nemo, Little Mermaid and the Wiggles, through to the bubble-gum pop Top 40 Hits of Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.
Each night a lucky child will win the chance to push the special fireworks plunger, getting the stunning display off to a firing start!
Early fireworks displays are long steeped in Ekka’s history - it was in the 1890s when fireworks first marked the arrival of acts in the Main Arena that were included purely for entertainment value.
QUEENSLAND HARNESS RACING PRESENTED BY RACING QUEENSLAND
The legendary trots will back in 2017 to wow the crowds and stomp their mark on the Main Arena.
The hot to trot horses and their brave drivers will wow the crowds with this true Ekka tradition, which has long thrilled audiences. Trots were a show staple up until 2002, they then made a comeback in 2014 and have been tearing around the quarter mile Main Arena track ever since.
MG MOTOR TRI-NATIONS CHALLENGE- RIDE, DRIVE & CHOP
The axes will be swinging and two forms of horse power will be on display, in this exciting race for the Tri Nations Cup.Australia, New Zealand and England will battle it out in this brand new concept combining the traditional Woodchop and Ride & Drive.
Each team of seven will have dedicated woodchoppers, who will show off their talent and pure strength as they attempt to chop and saw their way to an early lead.
It’s then time for the riders to jump on their horses and leap over barriers, before tagging the drivers who will rev up the race by tearing a lap around the Main Arena in a compact MG.
With the crowd madly cheering on their team in this full 360 experience, it’s time for the big finale, with the axemen and women sweating it out as they chop their way through a 10 metre high tree pole.
When the first piece of wood falls, it’s victory for one team – but which country will win the coveted cup?
LED SHEEP DOG DEMONSTRATIONS PRESENTED BY WALK ABOUT WORKING DOGS
Taking sheep dog demonstrations to a whole new level this year, the crowd will watch on in complete darkness as LED sheep are herded around the arena. Professional sheep dog handlers Adam Miller and Craig Freestone will guide the lit up mob with precision, with the help of their bright (literally!) sheep dogs of course.
This is the first time LED lights have been used on the sheep and dogs at Ekka, to show off the speed and skill of these clever canines. It’s sheep dog herding at its extreme – the crowd will not only be wowed by the spectacular LED effect, but by the close working relationship between these farmers and their trusted best friends.
NATIONAL ANTHEM - SUNG BY MIKAYLA JADE
Mikayla Jade isn’t just a trick riding superstar, she can also hold her own on a microphone. Following her popularity at Ekka last year, Mikayla will sing the National Anthem while balancing proudly on the backs of two horses.
Meanwhile with their bayonets drawn, the Queensland Mounted Infantry Historical Troop in conjunction with the Waler Horse Society of Australia will perform a high speed charge on six galloping horses.
It’s a tribute to the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, which is remembered as the last great cavalry charge and the finest hour for the Australian Waler horse.
ROMAN RIDING HIGH SPEED STUNT CHALLENGE
The race is on! Inspired by equine heroes from the big screen, Zorro and the Lone Ranger will go head to head in a high speed stunt challenge. Picture this, two galloping horses and a rider standing on their backs, with a truck travelling around the arena at 45km an hour. Now Zorro has to gallop up to the trailer, leap off his horse, climb up a ladder onto the moving rooftop trailer, before running along the roof to stop the clock - just like you would see in the movies! Now the real fun starts as the Lone Ranger tries to beat Zorro’s time – Hi Ho Silver!
TOPSY-TURVY CLOWN AND SIDEWAYS CAR WITH BENO THE CLOWN
Oh Beno! This cheeky clown will have the crowd in stitches, as he attempts to balance on the roof of a moving sideways stunt car. Fun for the whole family, Beno will wobble and stumble as he struggles to stay on the roof, as the car drives around the Main Arena on two wheels. It’s certainly not the last the crowd will see of this naughty clown and his crazy antics.
HORSE ARCHERY COMBAT SHOW
For the very first time at Ekka, three world champion archers on horseback will gallop around the Main Arena at speed, firing at targets in this medieval marvel. Armed with their bow and arrows and dressed the part, the archers will ride with the reigns loose, as they load and fire arrows in quick succession, knocking each target down with amazing accuracy. The Main Arena will be turned into a battlefield, as these real life medieval maidens and men also shoot at on ground warriors protecting themselves with shields.
JAWS OF DEATH AERIAL STRAIGHT JACKET ESCAPE SPONSORED BY TINGALPA CRANE HIRE
In a death-defying world first that would make Houdini turn in his grave, renowned escape artist Sam Powers will attempt the unthinkable at Ekka. Wearing a straight jacket, Sam will be suspended upside down 40 metres in the air by a crane, his ankles attached to a quarter of a tonne powerful set of sharp steel jaws.
With a rope the only thing keeping the jaws at bay, it’s suddenly set on fire and Sam will have to make his big escape – or at least try to. Once the rope burns through, the jaws will come crashing shut – will Sam escape in time or will he end up as a human shish-kebab?!
Described by critics as a daredevil performer, Sam will only have around 90 seconds to perform the seemingly impossible and the danger is real.
ROOFTOP EXPRESS BRUMBY MUSTER
Back for a second year, the Rooftop Express has put together a brand new show especially for Ekka, featuring brumbies, Brahmans and plenty of family fun. The show will gallop onto the Main Arena with a brumby muster featuring 30 horses – it’s sure to get hearts racing and whips cracking. The crowd will be introduced to a bush family – Mum, Dad and daughter – anything the parents can do, the kid can do better. With the Rooftop Express truck in tow, the parents will round up wild brumbies, while their daughter with her mini Tabletop Express will muster miniature ponies.
The show, full of cheeky moments and awe-inspiring horsemanship, includes a salute to the next generation of bush kids, who are proud to call Outback Queensland home.The popular Brahman cattle will also be back this year, as they proudly climb to great heights onto the roof of a truck!
The Brumby Muster features loveable bush characters Dave Manchon, Mikayla Jade and Bella Southern and is a must see for anyone who has ever wanted to put on a cowboy hat.
EKKA'S TRIBUTE TO THE HOLDEN PRECISION DRIVING TEAM PRESENTED BY TRACKSKILL V8 SHOW
The Holden Precision Driving Team (HPDT) has always been an Ekka crowd pleaser and this year we pay tribute to them, with an exhilarating display and drive down memory lane. Former RNA Councillor and rally driver Lloyd Robertson first formed the team at the Brisbane Showgrounds for the 1969 Ekka and after almost 40 successful years, the team disbanded in 2006 with Lloyd retiring. Re-enacting the iconic HPDT, four V8s will hit the arena, performing awe-inspiring driving manoeuvres and spectacular stunts including nose-to-nose driving, reverse hand brake turn flicks, spins and slides.
SHOWTIME FMX - BATTLE FOR THE GOLDEN HELMET
It’s good versus bad, as four of the world’s best riders rip it up in the Main Arena, pulling off the most amazing FMX tricks around. In the battle for the Golden Helmet, the Urban All Stars clash with the Outback Outlaws, in a thrilling new show featuring nail-biting racing and flawless aerial tricks. With more than 40 years combined riding experience, Robbie Marshall, Brad Burch, Kain Saul and Pete Anderson are guaranteed to wow the crowds as they backflip, superman, fly high and speed race around the arena - but will good or bad prevail to win the golden helmet?
MONSTER TRUCKS - DEVILS TAXI & TROPICAL THUNDER FEATURING THE RACQ LIFEFLIGHT HELICOPTER
With their high-octane revving engines, these monster trucks are sure to put on an action-packed show as they wheel stand, race and get airborne in the Main Arena. Driven by thrill-seeking father and son, Sam and Michael Xuereb, Devils Taxi and Tropical Thunder will make a roar, as they launch off jump ramps and over vehicles, in a true display of their powerful potential.
While performing tricks, these tough trucks will be tormented by Beno the clown – he just loves getting in the way with his side-splitting antics. Doing what it does best, LifeFlight soon comes to the rescue, with the helicopter flying in and hovering over the arena to winch away the mischief making clown.
This extreme show is sure to have the crowds cheering for more, with monster trucks and extreme action always a show favourite.
The breathtaking multimedia EkkaNITES Fireworks Spectacular is guaranteed to go off with a bang, with world first pyrotechnic performers, as well as fireworks being launched from light towers for the first time at Ekka.
In a world first, pyros will be fired off the backs of jumping stilt performers who will launch themselves several metres into the air, leaving a sparkling trail of fireworks behind them.
- Fireworks and flames will shoot from 115 positions, including from the four light towers surrounding the Main Arena in an Ekka first - and from the length and top of a 25 metre high crane fireworks tower.
- The audience will really feel the heat and hear the roar as they’re immersed in a 360 degree flame experience - the flames will fire high into the night sky right from the edge of the arena.
- The show will also feature kites fitted with LEDS and pyros - the fireworks will even change colour from gold to silver as the kites fly spectacularly around.
- They’ll be complimented by a mesmerising glittering dome effect covering the entire arena, with pyros fired sideways from the top of the crane tower - it’ll certainly be a stunning sight to see!
- This year’s world-class spectacle will feature more moving platform elements than any other arena display seen in Australia - from jumping performers, human pyro and quad bikes fitted with pyros and LEDs to human performers spinning pyros in a spectacular fashion.
MEET THE STARS OF EKKANITES
Once the action has drawn to a close, the audience can meet their favourite stars from EkkaNITES. The talented performers will make their way around the outside of the Main Arena, chatting to fans, signing autographs and of course posing for selfies!