News February 2, 2021

Brisbane’s The Zoo welcomes ‘Boo’ Johnston and Cat Clarke as co-owners

Brisbane’s The Zoo welcomes ‘Boo’ Johnston and Cat Clarke as co-owners
Image: Cat Clarke, Luke 'Boo' Johnston and Pixie Weyand

Brisbane venue The Zoo has added two new managers to the team, with husband and wife duo Luke ‘Boo’ Johnston and Cat Clarke joining Pixie Weyand as co-owners.

The new co-ownership arrangement will mean a gradual revamp for the venue, including the installation of air conditioning, restroom renovations and a liquor license extension to 3am.

Johnston has been active in the music scene since 2004, working as a tour and production manager. He launched his own touring services company last year, Road Agent Touring Services, which he will continue to run in addition to the new venture. Clarke, a former publicist at label Cooking Vinyl and music coordinator and show manager at Melbourne’s 170 Russell, will join the venue as a marketing and communications manager.

“We are delighted to become co-owners of one of Brisbane’s most-celebrated live music venues and very excited to be working with Pixie and The Zoo crew. The Zoo holds a special place in many Brisbane hearts, and we are dedicated to keeping The Zoo alive and well for all that love her,” Johnston and Clarke said in a statement.

“The venue has undergone a difficult time and we are encouraged to find ourselves in a position, with the assistance of a partnership, where we can provide stability and ensure that the iconic venue continues to thrive in Brisbane’s vibrant live music scene.”

With The Zoo – and many other venues – facing a rough 2020, Weyand said she was “looking forward and moving past a really difficult year towards a bright future” with the new co-owners by her side.

“My focus is and always has been around the longevity of live music within The Zoo and doing whatever it takes to make sure it remains an integral part of Brisbane and the broader Australian live music scene,” Weyand said.

“I am excited to be able to share the journey of The Zoo, giving it long-term stability, along with the opportunity to grow, evolve and move into a new phase full of life and live music.”

In its almost 30 years of operation, The Zoo has hosted gigs for the like of Pixies, Silverchair, The Black Keys, Paul Kelly, Lorde, Nick Cave and the Dirty Three, and Mogwai, among others.

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