Sometimes we grumble that the Gold Coast is often side-stepped by big name bands and mega music festivals.
Yet this is a short-lived argument when you take stock of the mind-blowing wealth of musical talent that is right on our doorstep.
Thankfully, we’re an embracing community who’s proud of our shining creative and entrepreneurial stars. With natural talent as their product, local musicians are an important thread in that fabric, who justly deserve recognition for their craft.
That’s where the Gold Coast Music Awards comes in, a platform to celebrate the musical geniuses who walk among us. Returning June 16, this year’s GCMA finalists have just been announced, with votes also open for the People’s Choice Award (cast your vote here!), which in 2015 received more than 30,000 ballots.
At one point or another we’ve all wished someone had put a guitar in our hands as a kid. It’s too late for the rest of us, so instead let’s revel in the talents of this year’s finalists. To help you out, we’ve rounded up seven awesome live acts to hit the Gold Coast over the days and weeks ahead.
Aquila Young | NightQuarter | Friday, May 27
Pint-sized beauty, Aquila Young is a graduate of Griffith University’s Bachelor of Popular Music program and has had a stellar start to her career. Last year, Aquila released her debut EP Distance Echoes, and in 2016 has been selected as an Emerging Artist of the Year finalist. You can catch her unique sounds, that have received airplay on Triple J, when she performs live at NightQuarter (also nominated for Best Live Music Venue), together with Eliza Pickard and LUATE.
Details: 4—10pm, $3 entry to NightQuarter
Where: 1 Town Centre Drive, Helensvale
Leopold’s Treat | Burleigh Brewing Co. | Friday, May 27
Beer and live music, two of our fave things hand in hand! Nominated for both Song of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year, Leopold’s Treat wants to provide the soundtrack to your next Friday arvo session at Burleigh Brewing. The band’s original renditions will be interspersed with visuals screenings from finalists in the running for Music Video of the Year, including some of the GC’s best music vids from Ella Fence, Amy Shark, Cheap Fakes, and ROMY, among others. As a precursor to the main awards night, there’ll be a bunch of industry folk and other finalists hanging about, so go give ‘em a cheers.
Details: From 5:30pm, free entry
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh
Karl S Williams | Live at Bond | Sunday, May 29
Okay, so we’re cheating a bit here. Karl S Williams isn’t actually a finalist this year, but whatevs, ‘cause in 2015 he took out the prestigious Artist of the Year award. Hugh props, Karl! If wandering into a uni doesn’t bring back too many menacing memories for you, then you might like to know he’ll be sharing his soulful sounds at this weekend’s Live at Bond concert series.
Details: 3—5pm, free entry
Where: Bond University, 14 University Drive, Robina
Benny D Williams | House of Brews | Sunday, May 29
Beer and live music again… deja vu much? Emerging Artist of the Year finalist, Benny D Williams will be taking to the small stage at House of Brews this Sunday arvo. Find out why he’s garnered a fanatically dedicated fan base when he unleashes his captivating and unfathomably unique blend of sounds that have been described to comprise psychedelic layers, sci-fi, and effects that’s something like galactic voodoo. Intrigued?
Where: 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Aquila Young | Elsewhere | Friday, June 3
Here’s two solid reasons to head into Surfers for some bevvies: Aquila Young, who is in the running for Emerging Artist of the Year will be performing at one of our faves, Elsewhere, which is also nominated for Best Music Venue of the Year. Winning!
Details: From 9pm, $15 entry at the door
Where: Elsewhere Nightclub, 23 Cavil Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Benny D Williams | Iron and Resin | Sunday, June 5
We love the concept of Iron and Resin Garage, and their weekly Any Given Sunday morning sesh. If you’ve not yet checked it out, then we reckon this is as good a time as any, with the talented Benny D Williams (Emerging Artist of the Year finalist) sharing his acoustic sounds on June 5. A food truck is always on hand for brekkie, as are the effortlessly cool baristas.
Details: 9am—11am, free entry
Where: 6 Stewart Road, Currumbin
Hanlon Brothers | Gold Coast Music Awards Night | Thursday, June 16
If live music is your life, just like the above mentioned home-grown stars, you’re gonna want to get yourself along to the 2016 edition of the Gold Coast Music Awards. Emerging Artist of the Year winners in 2015, Hanlon Brothers will be headlining this year’s celebration of the burgeoning local music scene which will again be held at Burleigh Brewing Co. HQ. Though you’ll need to act fast as tickets are almost sold out, so head over to the website for details.
Details: From 6pm, tickets $50 (includes free drink on entry to both awards and after party)
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Photo Credit: Benny D Williams Music