For years now, Byron Bay has reigned supreme as far as beachside festival venues are concerned. However, it seems that 2017 is the year of the Gold Coast.

Broadbeach Country Music Festival, a free event which usually takes place in June, has pushed its 2017 dates back as far as the last weekend in July in an attempt to expand the festival for its growing audience, say the Gold Coast Bulletin. This has seen it move into a very crowded space, however, with stiff competition from a range of other Gold Coast festivals.

The event will now take place in the same month as Viva Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach Jazz Weekend, and will be followed just a few weeks later by the Gold Coast 600 Sounds, a concert coinciding with the V8 Supercars that has previously hosted the likes of Birds of Tokyo, The Living End, and Cold Chisel.

It is not just the big beachside spaces that are pulling the big crowds on the Gold Coast, either. NightQuarter, one of the area’s newest live music venues, will play host to rockers Sticky Fingers when they play the venue’s first “packed” show in a year of operation to a sold-out 2000-strong crowd, following on from a 1700-strong Cat Empire audience.

“The NightQuarter show is the only non-capital city show on the Sticky Fingers tour,” co-owner Michelle Christoe told the Gold Coast Bulletin, “illustrating that having a quality 2000-capacity live music space on the Gold Coast can attract big tours that might previously have bypassed the Coast.”

With over 100,000 people witnessing live music in the venue so far, confidence is high. “The Gold Coast is in the midst of a cultural revolution and the calibre of musicians on the Gold Coast is second to none.”

While it’s great to see a push for more music on the Gold Coast, not everyone is thrilled with the Broadbeach Country Music Festivals changed dates, with punters having already booked accommodation prior to the date change expressing their disdain via social media.

“We have contacted all accommodation houses in Broadbeach to let them know that the dates are being moved and that there will be people needing to move accommodation,” a statement from the organisers read.

Others, meanwhile, have noted a rather unfortunate clash between the country-focused event and 35-year-old Queensland country institution the Gympie Music Muster.

“We tried to find dates that’s would suit a number of things including the Muster, as we know how important that is to many of you,” the organisers told their Facebook audience. “We looked at plenty of options and this was the only other weekend that fit in.”

While there are clearly some teething problems, Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington is confident in the region’s music and arts events going forward.

“The Gold Coast is already known as one of Australia’s leading major event destinations,” she told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “It’s great to see the city developing a great cultural mix of music, the arts and fine food that will further enhance this reputation.

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