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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Fortitude Music Hall Is the Valley's Huge New 3300-Person Live Entertainment Venue

The sprawling art deco-style, chandelier-filled space pays tribute to Festival Hall.
By Sarah Ward
July 30, 2019
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The Fortitude Music Hall Is the Valley's Huge New 3300-Person Live Entertainment Venue

The sprawling art deco-style, chandelier-filled space pays tribute to Festival Hall.
By Sarah Ward
July 30, 2019
  shares

The Brunswick Street Mall has long been one of Brisbane's live music hotspots, with the Fortitude Valley strip boasting plenty of bars and venues, and hosting many a festival as well. It's now home to something even more significant for the local music scene, however: a new 3300-person entertainment hall.

First announced back in 2017, the Fortitude Music Hall is the latest venture from ex-Powderfinger bassist John Collins, Secret Sounds' Paul Piticco, Scott Hutchinson and Live Nation — aka the folks behind The Triffid and Splendour in the Grass, plus one of Queensland's construction bigwigs and a huge international entertainment company. Launching last Friday, July 26, the chandelier-filled space is now open for gigs, shows and a jam-packed lineup of live tunes, instantly cementing itself as the inner-city's go-to mid-sized venue.

Sam Charlton

That's a considerable feat, and one that fills a glaring gap. Since Festival Hall was torn down back in 2004 and turned into apartments, Brissie has been lacking a live music space this size in the city's heart. The Tivoli can hold 1500 people and The Triffid has a capacity of 800, but nowhere in the area can cater for 3000-plus. To the dismay of music-loving Brisbanites, that means that some acts simply don't schedule a stop in this fine city of ours when they're touring Australia.

The Fortitude Music Hall aims to halt that trend. Designed as an art deco-style entertainment hub that pays tribute to Festival Hall — as well as to other Brissie theatres and venues from times gone by that've all long since shuttered or been demolished — it already has a healthy roster of talent headed to its stage in the coming months. In addition to The Flaming Lips, it'll welcome everyone from Birds of Tokyo, The Jungle Giants and Grinspoon to Two Door Cinema Club between now and the end of the year.

Sam Charlton

Come Thursday, August 1, the site will also launch its venue-within-a-venue, The Outpost. Like the space around it, it nods to Brisbane's past. The name stems from a 70s-era Brissie dive bar, where Collins actually attended his first gig. While this version will be classier, it too will play host to rock shows and other live performances, while pouring whiskey, rum and cocktails by the Proof & Company team. Even better — though it'll open for after-work and pre-dinner tipples — the 300-capacity venue also has a 3am licence.

Down the line, the Fortitude Music Hall will add a range of food and beverage retailers to its sprawling space, as well as function facilities, completing the latest stage in the spot's history. Located next door to McWhirters, it was first built as a Coles in 1957, and was most recently known as The Optus Centre.

Find the Fortitude Music Hall at 312 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, or visit its website for upcoming gig details.

Images: Sam Charlton and Vincent Shaw.

Published on July 30, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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