Music Hall opens doors for local acts

BRIDGETTE ALI

Brisbane’s local music talent are set to have a brighter spotlight shining on them thanks to the latest addition to the city’s already stellar line-up of music venues, The Fortitude Music Hall.

Tia Gostelow The Fortitude Music Hall

The Fortitude Music Hall on Brunswick Street kicked off their opening night party with a performance from Tia Gostelow (right). Photo: Will Johnstone

 

The Fortitude Music Hall opened its doors to patrons on Friday July 26, with performances from Ball Park Music, DZ Deathrays, Tia Gostelow and Powderfinger’s Bernard Fanning and Ian Haug.

In addition to providing well-known acts for their opening night party, the venue is already setting itself up as one of Brisbane’s music hot spots, scheduling a number of upcoming big names, including Two Door Cinema Club, The Cat Empire and Birds of Tokyo.

The venue is keen to bring more international artists to the heart of Brisbane’s nightlife precinct, but is not going to let that get in the way of its dedication to the local music scene.

Fortitude Music Hall’s sound engineer, Callum Rendell, said the venue would benefit local musicians by creating more opportunities for them to perform.

“More tours mean more support slots, more local slots,” Mr Rendell said.

“More opportunities for younger bands to see just what a big show is,” he said.

The Fortitude Music Hall’s front entrance

The Fortitude Music Hall’s entrance is located on Brunswick Street, right in the heart of Fortitude Valley’s nightlife strip. Photo: Bridgette Ali

 

Mr Rendell said the venue’s smaller capacity Outpost Bar would also give newer bands and local musicians the opportunity to perform at a high-quality venue.

“This 300-ish capacity room is going to allow younger local bands to play in a beautifully built and sounding venue – straying away from the typical local dive bar,” Mr Rendell said.

Local singer-songwriter Hope D, who already has performances at this year’s Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass under her belt, said she was excited to see how the venue would benefit the local music scene.

“[I’m] so stoked we have another live music venue in Brisbane, and it’s amazing it’s in the heart of the Valley,” Ms D said.

“I believe that having the new venue will bring a lot more traffic into the Valley, and hopefully bring a bigger audience.”

A regular performer at venues such as The Brightside and Blute’s Bar, the singer was also interested in seeing how the Fortitude Music Hall would help provide more opportunities for local artists.

“I find the music scene in Brisbane is really wild, and it’s like a music festival every night with endless stages,” Ms D said.

“I think that having more people brought into the Valley [by Fortitude Music Hall] will hopefully make them discover these local acts, and hopefully bring them to more shows,” she said.

“That really is the goal in the end – to create loyal fans that are keen to follow these independent musicians’ journeys.”

The Fortitude Music Hall sets itself apart from other venues effortlessly with its sleek and stunning appearance.

The venue’s designers took their inspiration from Philadelphia’s The Fillmore, as well as from Fortitude Valley’s Cloudland, while the feel of the venue takes its inspiration from Brisbane’s former music venue, Festival Hall.

The Fortitude Music Hall interior

The Fortitude’s main room features architectural designs inspired by venues such as The Fillmore (Philadelphia) and Cloudland (Brisbane). Photo: Callum Rendell

 

Emerge radio host Calen Le Couteur said he believed it was important to have venues of this design, purpose and capacity in the central hub of the city’s music scene.

“It’s crucial [to have] if we want Brisbane to be in the same conversation for international acts when they are planning tours,” Mr Le Couteur said.

“I’ve been disappointed multiple times a year by some of my favourite international artists doing ‘Australian tours’ but only playing Melbourne, Sydney and Perth,” he said.

“Hopefully with this new, stunning hall we will see Brisbane be host to the artists we deserve to be hosting, so it’s very exciting indeed.”

When it comes to large acts, either Australian or international, Fortitude Music Hall will be able to supply the perfect site with its large size and location.

With a room capacity of 3000 people standing and 1200 people sitting, the Fortitude Music Hall has taken the title of the largest ballroom or theatre-styled venue in Australia.

“Fortitude Music Hall is going to have a massive effect on the Brisbane industry by filling that gap in the market for the 1800 to 3000 capacity venue,” Mr Rendell said.

“Brisbane can expect to see heaps more of the sub-arena sized bands coming through, and being able to provide incredible sound, lighting and production.”

Mr Le Couteur said the venue was a place musicians would want to play at.

“It’s a beautiful venue that will bring huge artists back to Brisbane by offering a hall that large, but as stunning as the Tivoli,” Mr Le Couteur said.

Opening night at The Fortitude Music Hall

Opening night at The Fortitude Music Hall got the venue off to a good start, with a full house and an incredible line up of popular Australian artists. Photo: Callum Rendell

 

The opening of the Fortitude Music Hall has also sent those in the industry into a buzz with the prospect of new and exciting ways to stage concerts and performances that are not able to be done in those venues with a smaller capacity.

“I am really excited to see the massive improvement in productions for tours in the future,” Mr Rendell said.

“This venue can allow for bands to bring in anything from lighting and confetti, to pyro and screens,” he said.

“Having such a massive-scale venue in the heart of the Valley is going to be incredible for the Brisbane industry.”

Mr Rendell said the Fortitude Music Hall already had its own distinct atmosphere, and said he believed the venue would help Brisbane’s music scene maintain its individuality and character.

“Brisbane has a really unique music scene, I think, based around the fact that all of the venues are grouped together in the Valley and are all within walking distance of each other,” Mr Rendell said.

“Being the ‘nightlife’ area of Brisbane, it means venues can operate a little more freely,” he said.

“I don’t normally see decibel/noise issues arising in Brisbane venues like you do in Sydney, and you don’t have to trek miles to get to another gig like you do in Melbourne.”

Mr Le Couteur said Brisbane’s music scene would only improve with a venue like the Fortitude Music Hall on offer.

“We already have what I think is the best live scene in the country due to the abundance of quality live venues of varying sizes and so many different incredible bands,” Mr Le Couteur said.

“This new venue will give more incentive to local musicians to push themselves and their music to get onto a stage of such scope and magnificence.”

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