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Brisbane Could Be Getting a New Performing Arts Venue

It's been recommended as the city's major performing arts venues are currently at capacity.
By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2017
By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2017

Feel like you're always seeing shows in the same places, Brisbanites? Wondering why some of the big productions don't make their way to our theatres, even if they're playing in Sydney and Melbourne? There's a reason for both — but if a new proposed 1500 to 1700 seat venue comes to fruition, those problems might become a thing of the past.

Released on January 16, Building Queensland's Infrastructure Pipeline Report recommends something that theatre, music and live performance fans have long been hoping for, and is rather obvious really: that the State Government builds a new performing arts centre. The city's spread of performing arts venues hasn't changed in quite some time, meaning that there's only so much room for so many performances. Chatter about another addition to the fold springs up every few years — but this report might just see that talk turn into action.

The report cites the fact that Brisbane's major performing arts venues are currently at capacity, which is a pretty big deal. That means that they probably couldn't fit in something like The Book of Mormon (which has just opened in Melbourne this week) if they wanted to. For example, with the city's biggest venue — the Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank — already staging events for Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre Company, Opera Queensland and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, it's pretty darn busy. That's not really a reason that stands up to growing pressure from the arts sector, including local, national and international companies looking to stage mid-sized and large-scale productions, or to audiences. And it will only continue to be an issue into the future.

No further specifics are offered, although putting together a complete detailed business case is outlined as the next step (albeit without a timeline). And as we mentioned above, the government has played in this territory before, with nothing actually eventuating. Debate has raged about the size of any new venue over the years, with preferences ranging from 500 to 1500 seats. And while the latter was included in the winning Queen's Wharf proposal — aka the space that's about to drastically change on the northern side of the river in the CBD — it's no longer mentioned on the project's website.

Via Brisbane Times.

Published on January 19, 2017 by Sarah Ward


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