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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Brisbane Is Getting an Ambitious New $40 Million Live Entertainment Venue

The folks behind The Tivoli, The Triffid and Splendour in the Grass teaming up to build a brand new venue for gigs, events and productions.
By Sarah Ward
October 16, 2017
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Brisbane Is Getting an Ambitious New $40 Million Live Entertainment Venue

The folks behind The Tivoli, The Triffid and Splendour in the Grass teaming up to build a brand new venue for gigs, events and productions.
By Sarah Ward
October 16, 2017
  shares

Brunswick Street Mall boasts a plethora of bars, markets on weekends and a once-a-year festival, but it doesn't have a permanent indoor space where thousands of people can watch a band or show. Come mid-2019, that will change, with the folks behind The Tivoli, The Triffid and Splendour in the Grass teaming up to build a brand new live entertainment venue.

312 Brunswick Street is the address that'll be undergoing quite the revamp, in what'll be a massive $40 million project bound to change both Fortitude Valley's and Brisbane's live music scenes. The 2500-square-metre site next door to McWhirters will be repurposed to become a mid-sized venue for concerts, events and productions, with a capacity of 3300. By comparison, The Tivoli holds 1500 and The Triffid only 800.

In addition to theatre and functions facilities, the space — which was first built as a Coles in 1957 and most recently known as The Optus Centre — will include retail stores, restaurants, cafes and bars. Inside, the live venue will be designed by the same acoustic and service team responsible for The Triffid. Outside, the exterior will feature a modernised '50s-style exterior that nods to the place's history.

Given the city's lack of comparable places since Festival Hall was turned into apartments over a decade ago, there's certainly room for it — and if anyone would know Brissie's needs in this area, it'd be Scott Hutchinson of Hutchinson Builders, who helped rescue The Tivoli when it was slated to become units; former Powderfinger bassist John Collins; and Paul Piticco from Secret Sounds, the group behind Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and more. Together, they own and operate The Triffid at Newstead — so they've all already played a part in adding a new live music venue and hangout to Brissie's cultural scene.

"We've learned a lot since the early days of The Triffid," explains Collins. "I guess our hunch about the potential growth of the live music scene back then has paid off in spades… I think that venues created for music by musicians add something extra to the whole experience for both audiences and performers."

Image: The Triffid.

Published on October 16, 2017 by Sarah Ward

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