Gold Coast Music Awards: Live Act of the Year finalists

Who’d be a Gold Coast Music Awards judge? Each category comes with its own set of challenges, but in the case of Live Act of the Year, just try choosing between these five stellar acts, each with their own devoted following. The Live Act category also carries a particular passion and poignancy at the moment, with live music devotees currently going without their regular fix, and the live music industry in a state of devastation.

Category sponsors Gold Coast Music know a thing or two about live performances, with owners Stewy and Tamara having won an epic Battle of the Bands on the GC back in the day with their group Southern Axent. They believe “confidence” is one of the things that makes for a great live act, as well as a “trust and belief in each other.” When asked what they had to say to all the finalists, they were warmly encouraging.

“Congratulations and DON’T STOP! The biggest mistake for a lot of bands is stopping, don’t stop no matter what. Especially during these strange and unprecedented times we are in right now, appreciate what we have and keep playing and singing!”

Wise words. Gold Coast, here are your top five Live Act of the Year finalists.

Casey Barnes

Opening the gates of 2019 with a national tour, Casey’s impressive live performances also earned him a slot supporting The Davisson Brothers and then taking out Groundwater Country Music Festival’s inaugural public voted ‘People’s Choice Award’. Casey smashed the competition, receiving double the votes to 2nd place. His global audience is growing drastically with over 134,000 listeners per month whom have generated over 7 million streams, plus with over 45,000 fans joining in on socials to tell Casey they’re ready for whatever he’s got next.

Electrik Lemonade

Electrik Lemonade is a merry band of funklords that play a repertoire of funk, hip hop and dance music. Each member brings their own slice of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Lovin’ in the live show, culminating in a whirlwind of explosive energy that comes with a tidal warning as the crowd uncontrollably burst into a wave of dance and good vibes. They present a energetic, visual music show – after which, the crowd is never left with anything but a funky uplifted feeling. People don’t like or even love Electrik Lemonade. They have uber fans.


Still in their formative years, and off the back of strong single releases, Ivey found themselves supporting acts like Middle Kids, Ruby Fields, Confidence Man, Ocean Alley and Tiny Little Houses, all while the love from triple j and triple j Unearthed continued to grow.  In the past year Ivey have performed sold out headline shows, to packed crowds at bigsound, Byron Bay Falls Festival, where their set at the Jack Daniels Barrel House Stage reached capacity, won Triple J Unearthed Slot for The Drop Festival Coolangatta, and became the Triple J Unearthed Feature artist of the week, gaining them a national spotlight on Triple J Radio.

Hussy Hicks

Critically acclaimed Australian act Hussy Hicks are a tour de force featuring Leesa Gentz’ powerhouse soul vocals and Julz Parker’s revered guitar skills. Prolific and accomplished musicians, Hussy Hicks have honed their sonic dexterity over the past 12 years with five studio albums, multiple industry awards and more than 1,000 live shows under their belts, from Australia’s biggest blues, roots and folk festivals to 15 plus international tours, which now sell out across Europe. Known for their emotive lyricism, energetic live shows and fiery, frenetic instrumentation, it’s no surprise beloved locals Hussy Hicks have staying power and a stellar national and international reputation.

Tijuana Cartel

Tijuana Cartel is a East Meets West wonderland. A sensory overload, euphoria, fat beats and heavy, bass-fuelled electronica live band that brings together beats and people of all cultures to unite on the dance floor. They’ve graced Australia’s biggest stages: Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival, Woodford Folk Festival & Peak Festival (NYE to 15,000 punters). 2016-17 saw them go international with performances in Indonesia & New Zealand on top of their gruelling Australian tour schedule. The live set is driven by house beats, infused with trumpet, percussion and frantic middle eastern guitar lines blending layers of rich, intricate and atmospheric soundscapes with laid-back rhythms and luscious vocals.

IVEY image credit: Zenniesha Butts @zenniesha

We announce winners of this and nine other categories of the 2020 Gold Coast Music Awards on Thursday 30 April from 7.00pm. Get the viewing details at

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