Tropic Weekender: Our curated guide to the best upcoming events around Cairns

With a lineup featuring Spiderbait, Ben Lee, John Butler and Eves Karydas in a single weekend, live music is well and truly back in the Tropical North.

There's also a drag bingo show and F.R.I.E.N.D.S trivia night, along with the Port Douglas Carnivale, the Masters Games, film festivals, markets and a sailing regatta. 

There'll only be a few showers this weekend, with a perfect peak temperature of 27C across the next few days in Cairns. 

Friday 21 May

Drag Bingo at Cazalys, described as ‘not for nannas’, has a handful of ‘booby prizes’ and cash up for grabs. Balls drop at 6pm, tickets are $20 and include a cocktail on arrival. 

If trivia’s more to your taste, the Red Beret Hotel in Redlynch is hosting a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Trivia Night from 6:30pm. Total prize pool of $400 in venue gift cards to be given away, booking essential. 

Ben Lee is back, and Cairns seems quite happy about it. There’s only a handful of tickets left to his Tanks show tonight, 7:30pm start. 

A host of events are on tonight as part of the Port Douglas Carnivale, including a Hot & Steamy LGBTIQ+ party, the Blunderland burlesque, cabaret, drag show, and the famous Tropic & Exotic Street Parade. More at

The weekend-long French Film Festival starts today, featuring eight films at Cairns Central Event Cinemas over the weekend.

Saturday 22 May

Yungaburra Markets, the biggest and oldest markets on the Tablelands, are on again this weekend! 7:30am start. Try and spot a platypus while you’re in the town too.

Don’t let a little windy weather stop you from dropping into Port Douglas Carnivale’s Family Beach Day. From 9am till 3pm there’ll be kite flying, sand sculpting, beach hockey, and even a skydiving display. 

A protest in solidarity with Palestine will take place in Cairns on Saturday. 3pm start outside the RSL, Esplanade. 

Today’s also the last event of the five-day Port Douglas Race Week regatta! Beachgoers may be able to see some yacht activity off Four Mile Beach. 

The last installment of Cairns Summer Sounds is here – John Butler! Playing in the beautiful Munro Martin Parklands from 6:30pm, there’s limited tickets left.

Eves Karydas is also back in her hometown for a special all-ages performance at Tanks tonight.  8pm start, tickets essential. 

Spiderbait is the headline show of the Port Douglas Carnivale tonight, playing under the palms in Rex Smeal Park. All-ages are welcome to come see the rock icons play crowd-favourites like ‘Black Betty’, ‘Buy Me A Pony’ and ‘Calypso’. Tickets essential.

Sunday 23 May

Cairns’ best markets are back – Tanks Markets! From 9am till 2pm, rove around the gardens and find some locally-made handcrafts or try some delicious street food. 

Today’s the last day of the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games, uniting Olympic gold medallists, former NBA basketballers and thousands of everyday athletes. Have a look at what’s going on at