Brisbane is no longer the undersized younger brother, with a nutty streak. Nope, with its bustling network of spanking new tunnels, skyscrapers and high-density blocks, it’s a city all grown up. Its live music scene is also set to mature with the dawn of the Fortitude Music Hall, a 3,300-capacity venue in the heart of the Valley’s entertainment district. Any unforeseen glitches aside, the new site should open to the public in mid-July.

The multi-million dollar project is spearheaded by Scott Hutchinson, CEO of construction giant Hutchinson Builders, QMusic patron and an avowed music fan; former Powderfinger bass player John “JC” Collins; and the band’s former manager Paul Piticco, in partnership with his Secret Sounds Group co-founder Jess Ducrou. It’s the same brain trust behind the 800-capacity Triffid venue in nearby Newstead, which opened its doors in 2014 and has been booked solid since. Same winning team, different game. The Fortitude Music Hall is grander in every sense. The new site will have a mix of retail stores and an events space and is situated in the centre of the colourful Brunswick Street Mall, just opposite Ric’s cafe and about 400 metres from the Judith Wright Centre, the host venue for the annual Bigsound conference.

In September 2018, during Bigsound, Live Nation announced it had signed on as a principal partner in the project (Hutchinson owns the property). This is one giant leap ahead of Triffid 2.0.

“At the moment, there’s a lot to do,” Collins tells TIO. “Obviously I’m part of the design, the building, construction. The fit out, the website design, staffing, contracts.” One assignment he no longer needs worry about is bands. Experienced Century Venues booker Mark Gibbons joins the team as Head of Bookings, and will also take on the role for The Triffid from Feb. 4. Gibbons will relocate from Sydney, where he booked some of the city’s most iconic venues, including the Enmore, the Metro and Factory Theatre.