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GCCEC wins EarthCheck Award

Australia’s Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has been awarded the EarthCheck Platinum award for social and environmental sustainability, making it one of the first venues in the world to do so.

The certification honours ten consecutive years of “best practice in sustainability,” and was awarded to the GCCEC and fellow Australian conference space Adelaide Convention Centre. According to EarthCheck, earning the award requires “strong leadership and innovation,” in key social and environmental areas.

Speaking about the announcement, Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, says, “To achieve this high level of certification not only speaks to their individual and enduring commitment to sustainable practices, but also highlights Australia’s sustainability leadership on the global stage.

“Both Gold Coast and Adelaide Convention Centres ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to sustainability and they continue to play a vital role in conservation and community initiatives.”

“Both Gold Coast and Adelaide Convention Centres ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to sustainability and they continue to play a vital role in conservation and community initiatives.”

GCCEC’s work in reducing its emissions was highlighted as being particularly impressive. According to the venue, its Building Management System reduces energy consumption by up to 50% in off-peak periods. This, along with the replacement of 350 lights with LED equivalents, has resulted in emission savings “equivalent to taking 515 cars off the road.”

Additionally, EarthCheck commended GCCEC for their efforts to minimise food wastage onsite. Since 2014, more than 4,800 kilograms of food has been donated to members of the Gold Coast community in need in partnership with OzHarvest, according to EarthCheck’s report.

Commenting on the accolade, Adrienne Readings, general manager of GCCEC says, “We work extremely hard on our waste, water and energy-saving initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment and give back to the community.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. ”

Upcoming concerts at the GCCEC include Australian vocal group Human Nature’s Little More Love Tour, Croatian cellist duo 2CELLOS’s The Score & More Tour and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s American Utopia Tour. More information on upcoming music shows can be found on the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre website.

 


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AEG, Dainty to launch Hangout spin-off in Australia

The city council of Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia, has given the go-ahead for a new two-day festival, SandTunes, for December 2018.

The festival, produced by AEG and local promoters TEG Dainty and Cross Promotions, will be held on Coolangatta Beach, in the suburb of Coolangatta, on 1 and 2 December. It is an offshoot of Hangout Music Fest, AEG/Goldenvoice’s popular three-day event in Alabama, which was this year headlined by Mumford & Sons, Chance the Rapper and Twenty One Pilots.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports SandTunes will be a one-off ‘destination’ event with two stages and a capacity of 35,000.

“This event could go anywhere – there would be venues around Australia lining up to take it”

Two councillors, Gail O’Neill and Pauline Young, voted against the proposal, with O’Neill telling a council meeting “love[s] festivals” but that the event “belongs somewhere else, not on Coolangatta Beach”.

Councillor Bob LaCastra, countering, said SandTunes would help plug a hole left in Gold Coast’s finances by the cancellations of Big Day Out and Summafieldayze festivals. “This event could go anywhere – there would be venues around Australia lining up to take it,” he said.

According to minutes from a 22 August council meeting, the city is willing to contribute up to A$200,000 (US$160,000) towards the cost of staging the festival.

 


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Gold Coast taskforce bids to create ‘new Austin’

Local authorities in Gold Coast, Queensland, have unveiled plans for a ‘live music taskforce’ they hope will transform the Australian city – home to more than half a million people – into a live music capital.

The taskforce is one of the recommendations of the Live Music Action Plan 2017–2020 – the final version of which will be put before Gold Coast City Council next year – which seeks to build on “signature events” such as the Blues on Broadbeach and Bleach* festivals, “both of which continue to grow, attracting visitors to the city with quality music the key attraction” to boost its music economy in the run-up to its hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The report, presented to the city’s Economic Development and Major Projects Committee on 27 October, draws a parallel between Gold Coast and Austin, Texas (the ‘live music capital of the world’), both in their “thriving youth demographic” and similar climate. “As evidenced by the Austin, Texas, benchmark,” it reads, “there is an appetite for live music amongst young professionals and 25–39-year-olds.”

Problems currently facing artists, promoters and venues in the city include a “regulatory system […] perceived by stakeholders as prohibitive for venues and performers, and a barrier to the genuine development and well-being of the live music sector on the Gold Coast”, the report says. “This incorporates the liquor licensing regime, sound restrictions, sound measuring methods, complaint handling mechanisms and the nature of interactions with local and state compliance authorities, which are described by stakeholders as discouraging and even intimidating in some cases.”

The taskforce will “review current planning, regulatory and compliance processes and requirements with a view to reducing barriers for the delivery of live music in Gold Coast”

It also highlights a need for more venues; especially larger ones; for increased investment and the creation of ‘evening economy zones’, as in the Sunshine Coast; an overhaul of “archaic, out of date” noise restrictions, which are the same in every venue; and for lifting the city-wide ban on postering. In addition, research by Griffin University suggests Gold Coast “struggles with a ‘bikies’ image and the Gold Coast Cops TV show”, while the effect of Queensland’s controversial lock-out laws on “the delivery of live music on the Gold Coast are yet to be determined”.

The finalised Live Music Action Plan will be presented to the council in May 2017 following an audit of the city’s music venues and the establishment of a ‘live music regulatory taskforce’ to “review current planning, regulatory and compliance processes and requirements, with a view to reducing barriers for the delivery of live music on the Gold Coast”.

While Gold Coast’s efforts may be successful in increasing the number of Australian musicians playing in the city, there could be little effect on foreign ones: Live Performance Australia warned earlier this month that an increase of up to 600% in visas fees would act as a “major disincentive for international artists” to tour Australia.

 


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