“This is me trying to get music back into the centre of the entertainment area”: Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to welcome new $40 million live music venue
A site in Brisbane’s entertainment precinct originally earmarked for a 30-storey tower has been replaced with plans for a new 3,300-person capacity theatre and live music space.
Chairman of Queensland’s largest private construction company (and a long-time live music supporter) Scott Hutchinson is leading the $40 million project located in Brunswick Street Mall, along with the team that own and operates The Triffid – former Powderfinger bassist John Collins, and Secret Sounds co-founder Paul Piticco.
The building was originally a Coles supermarket, and initial plans for the new venue call for the exterior to reflect “a modernised ’50s facade”. The interior will be purpose-designed as a live venue by the same acoustic and service team that designed The Triffid, with work due to commence in January next year.
The project will also feature retail, food and beverage offerings, and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.
The yet-to-be-named entertainment venue will help to fill two voids in the current Brisbane live music scene – a larger capacity venue (since the closure of Festival Hall back in 2003) and the upcoming closure of Max Watt’s (formerly The Hi-Fi) at the end of the month.
Hutchinson told TMN that it was “the joy that I’ve got out of The Triffid that’s encouraged me to do this”.
“There’s nothing commercial about this. This is me trying to get music back into the centre of the entertainment area. This isn’t about money.”
“I think this will bring the mall back to life big time. The people that own the land around it and the tenants are over the moon – they’ve all been ringing this morning and saying thanks. This will turbo-charge the mall. Problem solved.”
Speaking on the impact of the Queensland Government’s new laws regarding compulsory ID scanners at Safe Night Precincts venues, Hutchinson hopes that the government “sees some sense” in the matter.
“They can’t continue to hinder culture in Brisbane. And I think they’re going to quietly back out of this silliness.”
And if the artist lineup for the new venue was left up to Hutchinson, there is no hesitantion in who he would have on the bill.
“Iggy Pop. That only takes me half a second to answer!”