Events in the spotlight at Gold Coast Music Awards

The Fourth annual Gold Coast Music Awards is recognising the role that events play in a thriving music scene. And if there’s one thing the Gold Coast does well, it’s events.

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast is sponsoring the Event of the Year category and sums up perfectly why we connect with events so deeply.

“Music events create a positive sense of engagement, connection and social wellbeing,” said Karen Dickinson, General Manager.

“They are effective and exciting ways to improve engagement in young people. Events also result in a shared sense of joyfulness for everyone who attends the event.

“Research has also indicated that the benefit of music contributes to a person’s feeling of purpose in life.”

That’s something that sits well with Karen, given that TAFE Queensland encourages students to have purpose as well as bold new ideas. And it’s not just the students who are kicking goals. Karen said that TAFE’s visionary teachers are also encouraged to be active in their field, so as to stay relevant and ensure they’re passing on the latest knowledge and skills.

And that’s evident in the fact that some of TAFE’s music teachers are finalists across a number of Gold Coast Music Award categories. Others are actively involved in local bands and touring internationally with well-known acts.

Karen said music events are extremely important for the community, particularly young people.

“The event is like the ‘glue’ between the artist and the enthusiast, she said.

“They bond the two together.  For the artist the benefit is that they endeavour to improve their act, refine their skills, and their hip pocket benefits from the exposure they get. For the audience they connect with one another which creates a sense of community and belonging.”

Karen acknowledged the diversity of events announced as finalists for the Gold Coast Music Awards Event of the Year category: Shakafest at Miami Tavern, Summertime Sessions in the Village in Cuddihy Park at Mudgeeraba and Wallapalooza at the Wallaby Tavern, also in Mudgeeraba.

“Each of these events provides an avenue for both new artists to be discovered and for familiar faces to showcase their latest work,” she said.

And just like the music industry itself, TAFE Queensland Gold Coast acknowledges that the scene needs much more than just musicians to thrive. Karen said TAFE offers a heap of opportunities for those wanting to broaden their talents across event management as well as the music industry itself.

“The music industry isn’t just limited to creative geniuses with opportunities available in music management, promotion, sound and studio engineering and lighting,” she said.

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast offers a diploma of music industry (performance or sound production), bachelor of contemporary music practice (from 2019 at Coomera), as well as event and hospitality management courses.

Meet the finalists for Event of the Year for the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards, sponsored by TAFE Queensland Gold Coast:

Shakafest, 19 August 2017, Miami Tavern

More than just a festival, an opportunity to get lost. 3,321 people attended Shakafest which used music celebrate coast culture – surf, skate, art and grungy rock.  The event has grown considerably in its short two years and has built a strong reputation outside of the city while giving local acts opportunities to perform next to some of Australia’s best bands. Grinspoon, DZ Deathrays, Butterfingers, Horrorshow, Tired Lion, Ivan Ooze, WAAX, Hemingway, Trapdoor and Radolescent were all on the lineup, along with Dear Seattle, Pandamic, Electric Zebra, Stork, Voiid and Kazual Tea – the perfect mix of touring acts and local talent.


Summertime Sessions in the Village, Feb-Mar + Nov-Dec 2017, Cuddihy Park, Mudgeeraba  

Summertime Sessions in the Village is a music picnic, held on 14 spring and summer Friday nights in 2017 that connects the local community to local and touring original live music acts, and increases the appetite for the consumption of live music on the Gold Coast. More than 1000 people attended the series in 2017, which has inspired a number of similar events across the city. The event has activated a Friday night economy in Mudgeeraba and engaged a high proportion of local talent across its bookings.


Wallapalooza, 14 – 17 September 2017, Wallaby Hotel Mudgeeraba       

45 live, original acts performed at Wallapalooza with more than a thousand people attending the main event and support events attracting a few hundred more.  As a true multi-genre event but with a high proportion of heavy rock and metal bands, Wallapalooza fills a gap for local talent while also engaging interstate acts to join the lineup. Wallapalooza has expanded from being arguably the largest one day showcase of local original bands on the Gold Coast to expanding to four consecutive events in 2017. Significantly, Wallapalooza has passed the true litmus test and has been embraced by the Gold Coast and South East Queensland public, not only surviving nine years but growing in attendance, event size and reputation over that time. Wallapalooza is also used as a tool for discovering new live talent by other festivals.

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The winner for Event of the Year will be announced on Thursday 3 May in Surfers Paradise. Get more information about the Gold Coast Music Awards at

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