Hearing about a new venue opening is becoming a regular occurrence in Brisbane, however this one might receive a warmer welcome than most. Every addition to the thriving local music scene is cause for celebration, but not every new spot that pops up offers more than a monster sound system and a place for beers and hangouts. In the case of The Foundry, we mean much, much more.
Slated to throw open its doors on March 6, and taking over the space at 228 Wickham Street that previously housed a backpacker hostel, the new Fortitude Valley establishment promises a one-of-a-kind creative music hub unlike anything in Australia. That's a claim the managers of the venue make themselves on The Foundry’s website, and from the description that follows, it's one they can back up.
In the two-level complex, a 300-person live room playing host to a roster of local and touring acts will certainly get people in the door. As will the adjacent rock ’n’ roll bar and beer garden, packed among the ever-growing maze of venues, bars and clubs along Wickham and nearby Brunswick Street.
So far, so good, as far as the punters are concerned. What makes The Foundry extra special is its commitment to the industry beyond a stage to play on and an audience to listen. "Supporting Brisbane's creative community takes precedence over profits," the site states.
Taking over the entire top level, a collaborative space, and 20 creative studios and offices will also dwell within its walls. 4ZZZ, Jeremy Neale, Smackface Records, Mitzi, Lost Movements and Mucho Bravado are among the first confirmed tenants, with "Brisbane's brightest artists, booking agents, publicists, street press [and] blogs" also expected to move in.
For bands, amazingly there's still more good news, including a green room to die for, dedicated rehearsal rooms, another space where touring artists can crash after a show — free of charge, seriously — and very favourable financial terms such as free venue hire. When it opens, we think more than a few people are going to want to call The Foundry home, musicians and music fans alike.
Find The Foundry at 228 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, from March 6. Visit their website for more information.