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News October 27, 2015

Gold Coast music community in crisis, takes action

The Gold Coast music community has banded together to find solutions to the current venue crisis by setting up the Save Our Live Music Gold Coast page on Facebook.

A council and liquor licensing crackdown on restaurants which put on live music – insisting they are running as nightclubs when they have restaurant licenses –has had immediate effect.

The Loft, on Chevron Island, stopped live music after 17 years while Miami Marketta scaled it back while fighting noise complaints. Swingin’ Safari in Surfers Paradise had to leave after the building’s landlord got “spooked” by authorities’ visits. Inn 47 on Chevron Island has paid $20,000 to get an entertainment licence.

The music community says such places are essential to showcase live acts as there is a scarcity of live music venues. Local players have to look for gigs in Brisbane or Sydney, or play very softly. Unlike other states, Queensland’s tough regulations means that volume is measured three metres from speakers rather than the curb outside, so venues can’t even protect themselves by sound proofing.

Two of those behind the Facebook, producer and sound engineer Ryan Grantham and musician Peter McFarlane told ABC Radio, “We’re encouraging people to offer positive solutions.”

Meantime, local promoter Al Buchan, who states, “We should be protecting grassroots emerging musicians” is holding a protest gig at the Shark Bar at Miami Tavern on September 6 with young bands Here’s To Neverland, What’s Left Is Yours and Sons Of The Morning to symbolically make a point.

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