Gold Coast’s best live music venues named – 2018

Five Gold Coast venues have been named finalists for the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards.

Soundlounge, Nightquarter, Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Miami Marketta and elsewhere are all in the mix to take out the award, with winners announced on 3 May in Surfers Paradise.

But what makes a good live venue? Oliver Mork has some ideas. He’s one of those Gold Coasters, with global connections and a big love of music who puts his money where his mouth is.

Through The Avalon, Miami, Oliver is the sponsor of the Music Venue of the Year category for the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards. It’s a category very close to his heart and he has some simple yet direct input as to what makes a venue great.

“It’s acoustics, man. Acoustics and attitude,” he told Blank Gold Coast.

Most venues forget about acoustics, but for musicians, and for fans, it’s the most important thing and it’s really a forgotten black art.

“And attitude – you’ve got classic venues like The Zoo and what really makes them is their commitment to the community and being part of the music scene of the city they’re in.”

Judges for the Gold Coast Music Awards coincidentally did consider acoustics and connection to community when weighing up the city’s music venues. They also looked at consistency in programming original music, venue management and facilities for artists, reputation within the industry as well as booking policies and contribution to the local scene.

With engineering projects around the world, Oliver has the opportunity to visit music venues on just about every continent. Not wanting to be obscure, he says The Triffid in Brisbane and The Filmore in San Francisco are two of the best.

“With both The Triffid and Filmore, it’s again great acoustics,” Oliver said. “The Filmore has the history, going right back to the 60s so you feel that sense of community and history when you’re in the place. And The Triffid – they  took an old historic hangar, kept the look, sorted out the acoustics and set out to create a world class venue and they succeeded.”

Closer to home and Oliver says the diversity of venues named as finalists for Venue of the Year is testament to the great diversity within the city itself.

“You’ve got all these different live venues and endeavours attracting different demographics and the more you can appeal to a full cross section of society, the better,” he said.

And he’d like to see the live music scene grow with additional venues.

“We need to make it happen collectively,” he said. “There’s a disconnect between the people with money and the will to invest and the artistic community – somehow you’ve got to connect those two and get people teaming up.”

The finalists for the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards Venue of The Year category sponsored by The Avalon, Miami are:

elsewhere, Surfers Paradise

For more than a decade, elsewhere has helped nurture and present local live music with passion and fairness to the artists themselves. Tucked away in the heart of Surfers Paradise, up two flights of now-iconic stairs, nestles this unlikely space called elsewhere. Since 2003, this little family owned venue has bloomed into a cultural institution that prides itself on delivering an unrivalled platform for local artists, presenting acts of international infamy and being a springboard for those of tomorrow. The venue recently invested in a globally renowned NEXO sound system, adding new spearkers for live bands. Over the past year some of those acts have included Tesla Coils, Amy Shark, Cakes, Donny Love, Major Leagues, Polish Club, Fairchild and Eliza and the Delusionals,


Miami Marketta

Providing a platform for Gold Coast artist to play their original music each weekend in front of an audience they might not usually play to, Miami Marketta also works hard to put forward local artists as supports for touring bands passing through town. Miami Marketta is the City’s first official creative precinct, hosting a number of art and fashion studios, weekly street food night markets and art exhibitions, poetry slams and music events. In the past year, the venue has sold-out its laneway space for The Growlers and Ocean Alley and held capacity gigs for Meg Mac, Amy Shark, Vera Blue and Allah-Las. Sublime with Rome, Boo Seeka, Client Liaison, Cog, Saskwatch, Lastlings, All our Exes Live in Texas, Busby Marou, San Cisco and Kingswood have also played the venue.


Miami Tavern Shark Bar

Shark Bar is at the forefront of supporting local aspiring artists to showcase their talents in front of live audiences on a weekly basis, consistently working with local artists as support acts for large national touring acts shows and holding events whereby local artist complete the full line up, therefore being able to grow and build a solid local following. With three decades of bringing international, national and local acts to Gold Coast music lovers, Shark Bar is part of the city’s psyche. In the past year they’ve hosted Dinosaur Jnr, Grinspoon, DZ Deathrays, Skegss, Horrorshow, Tired Lion, Hockey Dad, Ball Park Music, British India, Bec Sandridge, Clowns, Northlane, Hellions, Grenadiers, Frenzal Rhomb, Thy Art Is Murder, Ecca Vandal, Dear Seattle, !2 Foot Ninja, The Hard Aches, Waax, The Creases, Urthboy, Luke Million, Gooch Palms, Dumb Punts, Pist Idiots, The Meanies, In Ashes We Lie, Bleeding Knees Club, Pinheads, The Ruiins, Sleep Makes Waves, Goons Of Doom, Ivan Ooze, Butterfingers, The Murlocs, These New South Wales, Trapdoor, Radolescent, Drunk Mums, Toe To Toe and Nancy Vandal as well as boutique music festivals Ozfest and Shakafest.


NightQuarter, Helensvale

Over the last two years, NightQuarter has played a great part in the cultural evolution of the northern end of the Gold Coast, becoming a haunt for local music lovers and musicians alike.  The one-hectare venue was custom built to provide live music in an area of the Gold Coast that was lacking with the philosophy of bringing community together in a common area to deliver live music and good food. With an average of 20 musicians booked every weekend, NightQuarter provides regular opportunities for artists of all ages, diverse genres and experience levels to perform. From week to week you can see Chinese guzheng players, a family band playing washboards and accordions, Bollywood big bands, vaudeville dixieland jazz and everything in between.  The venue supports buskers, high school band competition winners, up and coming musicians through to the likes of Amy Shark who launched her single ‘Adore’ at NightQuarter on the cusp of breaking through as an international juggernaut. In 2017 the venue hosted Rufus, Sunnyboys, Grinspoon, British India, Adam Brand , Paul Dempsey, The Living End , The Waifs , Bliss n Eso, The Screaming Jets, Baby Animals, Stan Walker, Hoodoo Gurus, Jebediah, You Am I, Adalita, Illy, Killing Heidi, Ed Kuepper, The Celibate Rifles and pretty much every Gold Coast band that exists.


Soundlounge, Currumbin

Soundlounge provides a platform for artists from the local area to reach great audiences through supporting national and international artists, and playing as part of some massive tribute nights.  In May 500 people came out to see Yes Sir Noceur, Thee End Less & TRAPDOOR absolutely nail the songs of The Doors.  In November Eliza and The Delusionals graced the stage with British India in front of over 500 and Electrik Lemonade played the opening slot for a huge Tijuana Cartel show in September. Soundlounge is a venue for music lovers, with all shows ticketed to ensure people are coming for the music and value the experience. The venue can be configured for 300, 550 or 700 guests and in the past year has hosted Tijuana Cartel, Kallidad, British India, Custard, The Honey Sliders, Lloyd Spiegel, Tamam Shud, Karl S Wiliams, Mat McHugh and Juzzie Smith.

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Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony, Thursday 3 May in Surfers Paradise. Tickets via Oztix.


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