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Live Nation’s Alan Ridgeway Talks Fortitude Music Hall and Australia’s Live Scene
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Live Nation's Alan Ridgeway Talks Fortitude Music Hall and Australia's Live Scene 1

The Fortitude Music Corridor, Brisbane’s latest dwell music venue, swung its doorways open to the general public for the primary time on July 26 with a live performance that includes a who’s who of homegrown expertise. It was a very long time coming. 

Australia’s third largest metropolis, Brisbane has a wealthy musical historical past, launching the careers of The Bee Gees, The Go-Betweens, The Saints, Powderfinger, Savage Backyard, The Veronicas, and lots of extra. However its music followers have been crying out for a mid-size venue since Pageant Corridor was demolished again in 2003 after practically 45 years in enterprise. 

Cry no extra. A number of years within the making and with tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} invested, the brand new complicated maxes-out as a 3,300-capacity music or occasion area, with versatile flooring and seating for 1,200 and a pair of,000. Additionally, its upstairs bar can host 300 party-goers.

The venture was spearheaded by the group behind the Triffid venue in close by Newstead: Scott Hutchinson, CEO of building big Hutchinson Builders and QMusic patron; former Powderfinger bass participant John “JC” Collins; and the band’s former supervisor and Secret Sounds co-founder Paul Piticco. Reside Nation final yr signed on as a principal companion.

The Flaming Lips, James Morrison, Mac DeMarco, The Pixies, Kasey Chambers and Apocalyptica are among the many acts booked to play the Brunswick Road venue, smack bang in the center of the Fortitude Valley leisure district the place the music business will collect subsequent month for the annual Bigsound summit. 

Billboard caught up with Alan Ridgeway, chairman of Reside Nation Asia-Pacific, to verify in on the Fortitude and take a look at the heart beat of Australia’s dwell scene.

Billboard: The brand new venue has been warmly welcomed. What are your impressions on the brand new website? And what does it want to realize in, say, the primary 5 years of operation?
Alan Ridgeway: John ‘JC’ Collins, Scott Hutchinson and Paul Piticco have performed an unimaginable job with the design and the situation of the Fortitude Music Corridor.  All three of them know what’s required by artists and followers to make an awesome music venue and that’s what they’ve succeeded in delivering and what’s extra, it’s within the excellent location for Brisbane. It’s not going to take lengthy for this to turn out to be a ‘must play’ venue for artists touring Australia.

I attended the opening night time, and the inaugural day-time gala operate the next week, which made good use of the 2 chandeliers in the primary room. The day-night side of the brand new venue is a compelling one and it appears to be under-exploited in venues world wide. Is that this multi-functional mannequin the way forward for the dwell music venue?
Firstly, this has been constructed as a dwell music venue however it was necessary that it additionally has the flexibleness for use for different occasions as a way to maximise its use. Older venues might not at all times have that flexibility however you definitely see it in increasingly new venues world wide. I’m certain The Outpost Bar (the upstairs venue throughout the Fortitude) will even do extremely nicely as a standalone venue.

In Australia, Reside Nation now operates two venues. Are there plans for extra in Australia or throughout Asia Pacific?
We at present function three venues in Australasia: Spark Enviornment (together with the Tuning Fork) in Auckland, the Palais Theatre in Melbourne and now the Fortitude Music Corridor in Brisbane. We’re at all times trying to find new venue alternatives throughout the Asia Pacific and I’m certain you’ll be seeing additional bulletins within the coming months.

The Academy model rolled out with some success within the U.K. Likewise the Home of Blues within the U.S. The Hello-Fi model some years in the past established venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (its successor, Max Watts, operates in Sydney and Melbourne). Wouldn’t it make sense to function a community of branded venues throughout the nation or area?
We have now various venue manufacturers that we use world wide, together with Home of Blues, Fillmore and Academy venues.  I wouldn’t rule out establishing one other model and even utilizing considered one of these present manufacturers, however crucial factor for us after we open a venue in a brand new metropolis is to decide on a reputation that works for that market – which is what I consider the group have achieved with the Fortitude Music Corridor and The Outpost.

After all, the motion isn’t restricted to venues. LN produces 9 festivals, an area which seems to be again on monitor with a slew of recent and worldwide occasions popping up, together with LN’s Pageant X and Obtain. What are your ideas on how Australia’s festivals scene is monitoring and whether or not LN is eager to develop its pursuits in festivals land?
Festivals are an important a part of our international enterprise and it was at all times our aim to construct a number one competition enterprise within the Australia and New Zealand markets, therefore our acquisition of Secret Sounds a few years in the past.  The Australasian competition enterprise has gone by a couple of modifications over latest years with a few of the iconic manufacturers disappearing.  This left some gaps available in the market which we are actually trying to fill with the latest launches ofs Obtain and Pageant X.

Lastly, how would you characterise Australia’s dwell music market for the time being?
I’ve at all times seen the Australian dwell music market as one which punches above its weight and that exhibits no indicators of letting up.  The Australians have an unimaginable urge for food for dwell music and our mission is to persevering with bringing them nice live shows and festivals and to develop venues that improve that dwell music expertise.


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