Youth music scene struggles with lack of venues

By Giles Higginson

With only a small amount of all ages venues on the Sunshine Coast, the youth music scene is struggling to find a voice.

The recent successes of The Voice contestant Kelsie Rimmer has shown that the youth of the Sunshine Coast do have talent, but showcasing this talent is something that is hard for young musicians in the area.

Editor of The Point Sunshine Coast Music Portal, Rhys Fox, believes the Sunshine Coast music scene tends to overlook talented local musicians and only acknowledges local talent after they gain notoriety.

“What annoys me more so …is the bandwagon that starts,” he said.

“Particular media all of a sudden are all, ‘look at we produced’, knowing very well that artists like Kelsie have been playing shows in this area for quite a while. What about the other artists of the same or even higher caliber that are being ignored by the mainstream media?”

Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership (SCYP) Project Officer Amy Doran agreed with Mr Fox.

“It is pretty bad that local radio stations have only found out about her from that program… They just jumped on the bandwagon after that show.”

SYCP is an organisation that aims to give opportunities to young bands and the community by putting on events in a drug and alcohol free environment.

SYCP Project Officer Amy Doran believes that the lack of venues for youth bands on the Sunshine Coast is to blame for the small amount of opportunities for young musicians.

“For young bands there’s not much because all the places on the coast are licensed venues,” she said.

“The venues don’t really want to put on underage bands.”

Ms Doran acknowledged timeliness as a key factor.

“It takes us a few months to get something in progress because we rely on grants and things like that, so in between gigs it takes quite a while to make something regular.”

Not all hope is lost though, organisations such as SYCP and AMPED are looking to make regular all ages shows a priority within their organisations.

SYCP held a music event on June 16th showcasing  musicians under aged under 18.
Events like this are vital to the resurgence of youth music on the Sunshine Coast, giving young musicians a chance to express themselves.

Rhys Fox said he believed organisations like SCYP gave excellent opportunities to young musicians.

“Organisations like AMPED, Sunny Coast Youth Partnership, as well as venues like Coolum Beach Hotel, who have been putting on regular Battle of the Bands …give you a quick chance to showcase [your music], as well as jam or network with older musicians,” he said.

When asked about the solution for opportunities for young bands, Ms Doran of the SYCP stated that more venues were needed.

“I think more venues, not just one, it needs to be a few, and more community support and more funding towards the things that non for profit organisations like us are trying to do…”

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