Music maketh the city: 2016’s major musical highlights on the Gold Coast

2016 is going to be a big year for music on the Gold Coast. We know. Because we are working HARD to make it so. As the city gets closer to d-day for hosting the Commonwealth Games and both money and energy are directed to cultural growth, it’s a unique time for people working in creative industries – including music – and that means it’s a fantastic time for music lovers.

Can I hear a f*ck yeah! We already know about some big names coming to places like NightQuarter (but we’re sworn to secrecy) and the number and frequency of touring acts stopping here is growing steadily (though we admit, we’ve still a way to go). We’re working closely with organisations like Q Music to make sure local, original artists and the venues that support them have a voice, and of course, we’ve got the Gold Coast Music Awards ramping up for 2016 as well.

For two years now, Blank GC has been the number one gig guide for the Gold Coast (according to Doctor Google, anyway) and we work hard to keep the guide maintained and focused on local, original artists. But what about the major music events to keep your eyes and ears peeled for over this coming year? We’ve got the goods there, too.

Bleach* Festival | 4 – 20 March
One of the things we love about Bleach* is the incredibly high volume of local talent included in a program that is undoubtedly world-class. Spanning three weekends and taking place in some of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces, Bleach has released its 2016 program which includes headliner and international guest Ben Lee as well as a wealth of local talent such as Ella Fence, Cheap Fakes, Black Rabbit George, Casey Barnes, The Vernons, Hanlon Brothers, The Reversals, Electrik Lemonade, Robbie Miller and Ivey. Get the full program at bleachfestival.com.au.

Surfers Paradise Live | 6 – 8 May
Music is front and centre when Surfers Paradise LIVE comes to town in May. The event showcases a heap of diverse musical genres over stages located throughout the precinct. If you haven’t been in to Surfers Paradise for a while, I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how it’s changed. As well as fantastic live music venues and late-night DJ / party options, there’s a heap of family-friendly dining and playtime options as well. Surfers Paradise LIVE is a good reason to quell your live music craving while visiting Surfers for old time’s sake. More at surfersparadise.com.

Blues on Broadbeach | 19 – 22 May
It may be chilly, come May, but there’s no need to be blue. Blues on Broadbeah, which celebrates its 14th year in 2016, has already announced an incredible lineup – and there’s still more to come. Eric Burdon and the Animals lead the charge for this free, family-friendly, four-day event. Also announced are The Bamboos, Cookin’ on 3 Burners with Tex Perkins and Stella Angelico, Diesel, Bondi Cigars, Free Soul Collective, Felicity Lawless, Big Daddy Wilson, The Lachy Doley Group, The James Street Preachers and more. And that’s only the beginning. More artists are expected to be announced shortly. Get all the details at bluesonbroadbeach.com.

Gold Coast Music Awards | 16 June 2016
With Burleigh Brewing Co jumping on board as Presenting Partner for 2016 before the 2015 event had even finished, we knew this year’s event would have big shoes to fill. But we’ve already laid eyes at Burleigh brewing Co’s new facilities (which are due to open in March) and we’re pretty sure 2016 is going to be a massive year for the GC Music Awards. With nominations opening in March and a heap of sponsors already on board for announcement in the next edition of Blank – we are well on our way to unearthing and celebrating the very best of the Gold Coast’s music scene. Stay tuned for more info or visit gcmusicawards.com.au for the latest news.

Broadbeach Country Music Festival | 17 – 19 June
It’s grown every year and with an early lineup announcement for 2016, there’s no doubt the Broadbeach Country Music Festival will be another boot-scooting success! Adam Brand and the Outlaws headline the event with The Sunny Cowgirls and Jasmin Rae also on the lineup – with many more to be announced. Visit bluesonbroadbeach.com for all the details about the three-day event which brings the country to the city through music.

SWELL Sculpture Festival | 9 – 18 September
Yes, it’s a sculpture festival, but everyone knows you can’t really have a festival without music, right? The team behind SWELL as passionate supporters of the local music scene and always work hard to include local and original talent in their festival program. In 2015 that included a showcase of ladies who were profiled through the Gold Coast Music Awards – so who knows what 2016 will have in store. Get all the details at swellsculpturefestival.com.au.

Wallapalooza | 17 September
With a focus on heavier music genres, Wallapalooza will again bring serious music lovers a smorgasbord of talent – with a themed event. Last year Wallapalooza went national with shows up and down the east coast and 2016 is no different. The event will tour to Melbourne and Sydney in June, before returning to Byron (16 September) and Gold Coast (17 September). Headliners are expected to be announced very soon, but Smoking Martha has already been confirmed on the bill. No surprises there. They blew people some new earholes last year.

Gold Coast Folk Festival | September (TBC)
Paradise Country Parklands is the venue for the Gold Coast’s very own celebration of folk music, come September. Last year’s event drew more than a thousand guests who participated in free and ticketed events as well as open mic sessions and concerts. The dates for 2016 haven’t been announced yet, but you can keep up to date with that and the lineup announcement at goldcoastolkfestival.com.au.

Buskers by the Creek | 15 – 16 October
There’s a reason this home-grown event has been winning awards left, right and centre. The brainchild of Cindy Jensen, Buskers by the Creek offers up an incredible number of musicians and performers all vying for busking glory. Taking place on the southern bank of Currumbin Creek, tens of thousands of people attended in 2015 and the event is only expected to grow in the future. As well as the free and very family-friendly daytime event, the nighttime sees the Battle of the Buskers take place with the winner scoring a heap of gigs and marketing support as well as a recording package. This event showcases everything that’s great about the Gold Coast – its can-do spirit, its landscape, beaches and creeks, its talented performers, its talented creators and its laid-back vibe. Put it in your diary RIGHT NOW and stay tuned for artist invitations via buskersbythecreek.com.au.

Did we miss something? Let us know via our website | blankgc.com.au.

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Blank GC’s gig guide, which is updated regularly, is at blankgc.com.au/goldcoastgigguide.

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