Brisbane Remastered: How Music Is Shaping Australia’s New World City
Heads up Nashville and Seattle, Brisbane is stepping out from the underground to take centre stage as the world’s next Music City. Thanks to a playlist of music festivals as big as the LPs sold at Rocking Horse (an independent music retailer and incidentally the second biggest record store in the country), the opening of new live venues in the city’s heartland and a hotbed of home-grown artists raised under the blaze of a Brisbane summer (we’re looking at you Savage Garden and Shepherd), the city is tuning to its DNA to help remix its cultural brand.
Come September, Brisbane’s music ecosystem will top of the charts when Big Sound, a global gathering of music and industry held in Fortitude Valley (Sep 3 – 6), paves the way for the Brisbane Festival (Sep 6 – 28), the city’s fieriest river gathering. Adding more bass to the event’s lineup, the Brisbane Museum will simultaneously stage High Rotation (August 30 – April 19), an exhibition showcasing 30 years of Brisbane Music. Think Keith Urban’s guitar, Kate Miller Heidke’s dress worn for Eurovision and memorabilia from The Veronicas!
In a continuation of the city’s emerging music credentials, two new venues have been added to the lineup of much-loved venues like The Triffid (the brainchild of former Powderfinger Bassist John Collins in a transformed WW11 hangar), Brooklyn Standard, an underground live music joint, The Powerhouse, a stunning industrial landmark and a hub of everything creative, The Brisbane Jazz Club for diehard jazz lovers and Lefties Old Time Music Hall for a bit of honkytonk. The new venues include:
Fortitude Music Hall
Brisbane’s long-awaited A$40 million ($27.6 million) live music venue Fortitude Music Hall opened its doors to the public July 26, earning the city the title as having the nation’s best live music venue in the heart of Australia’s best live-music precinct. The 3000 capacity venue is a joint venture by Live Nation, former Powderfinger manager Paul Pittico and bassist John Collins and builder Scott Hutchinson. The art deco designed building – which can be used for a variety of purposes from music to gala events, comedy and dinner shows – adds an important lineup to Brisbane’s live music venues which also include the 800-capacity The Triffid, the 9,000 space Riverstage and the Convention Centre. The Music Hall incorporates the 300 seats The Outpost set up for young musicians and new acts.
There are five bars scattered throughout the venue.