FINALISTS ANNOUNCED: 2016 Gold Coast Music Awards

Gold Coast’s search for its best musicians has revealed a diverse and thriving music scene with the announcement of finalists for the Gold Coast Music Awards at Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel & Spa this morning.

No stranger to Blank readers, Ella Fence, currently out of the country is a finalist in four categories with Amy Shark, Hussy Hicks and Leopold’s Treat awarded finalist places in two categories each.


GCMA 2016 general fb cover


Heavy rock band Baltimore Gun Club scored a finalist spot in Best Music Video category with their intricate hand-drawn animation, while 18-year-old opera singer Jenna Dearness Dark was awarded a finalist place in the Emerging Artist of the Year category.

Independent judging panels, chaired by music journalist Trevor Jackson listened to scores of songs and deliberated over 145 nominations from all over the Gold Coast.

Heavy metal, math rock, reggae, roots, classical, blues, psych, EDM, flamenco, hip-hop and all the genres in between were represented. Teenage opera singers and middle-aged punk rockers all nominated across seven categories.

“We are absolutely stoked at the diversity of genres, ages and career stage across nominations,” organiser Chloe Popa said. “The level of interest – from media, sponsors and musicians, as well as the quality of music nominated is overwhelming.”

The finalists are now in the running for career-boosting prizes, such as the opportunity to perform at BIGSOUND 2016 – the country’s pre-eminent music showcase made possible thanks to City of Gold Coast.

NightQuarter, Live at Bond, Southport Sharks, SWELL Sculpture Festival, Bluesfest Busking, Buskers by the Creek, Bleach Festival, The Avenue and other venues and events are also offering paid performances as prizes.

Staking the claim for the best music venue the Gold Coast has to offer are finalists Currumbin Creek Tavern, elsewhere, Miami Marketta, Nightquarter, Soundlounge and The Avenue.

Gold Coast Tourism Director, Communications and Marketing Services, Michelle Stone who spoke at the announcement said music was an integral part of the Gold Coast’s emerging arts and culture scene.

“Live music, the city’s live music venues and events are part of the city’s diverse and growing tourism offering and this is recognised when we are actively challenging the perceptions visitors have of the Gold Coast as a holiday and business events destination.

“As we approach the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the world’s attention will turn to us and music events like Blues on Broadbeach add real value to our appeal for both domestic and international visitors.”

Mayor Tom Tate, who wasn’t able to attend the announcement also congralated the finalists and highlighted his support of the Gold Coast’s music industry.

“Our city is blessed with rich talent in so many facets of arts and culture. Music, as a form of expression and enjoyment, is one area where we have some incredible artists,” Cr Tate said.

“These awards pay recognition to those who have excelled in their chosen fields but I know the awards are a broader celebration of everything we have to offer right here on the Gold Coast. Our Culture Strategy 2023 supports all forms of the arts including music and I look forward to the growth of this industry.,” he said.

Music fans will have a chance to vote for their favourite Gold Coast artists in the Burleigh Brewing Co. People’s Choice Award. Voting opens 27 May via

The winners will be announced at a #verygc awards presentation on Thursday 16 June at Burleigh Brewing Co. Tickets are on sale now and include a free beer, dinner, entertainment by headline act Hanlon Brothers, surprise performances, free transport and entry to the after party at Hard Rock Café plus and a free cocktail on arrival.

First held in 2015, with sell-out attendance and more than 30,000 popular votes for the People’s Choice Awards, Gold Coast Music Awards aims to stimulate interest in our city as a live music destination while celebrating the depth and diversity of talent found here.

The judging panels for each category this year included Louise Bezzina (Bleach* Festival), Neil Beattie (Swingin’ Safari), Sean Flanagan (Hot Tomato), Felicity Lawless (musician), Cindy Jensen (Buskers By The Creek) and Donna Weston (Griffith University), Lucy Fisher (Gold Coast Film Festival), Matt Webber (ABC Gold Coast), Natasha Edwards (SWELL Sculpture Festival) and Chris Boyd (Glass Media), Sharon Solyma (Bond University).


ARTIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Southport Sharks, Cabana Bar + Lounge

Amy Shark

Ella Fence

Evol Walks

Hanlon Brothers

Hussy Hicks


EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University

Aquila Young

Benny D Williams

Electrik Lemonade

Ella Fence


Jenna Dearness Dark

Leopold’s Treat


SONG OF THE YEAR, sponsored by NightQuarter

Golden Fleece by Amy Shark

Unknown Water by Ella Fence

Jelly by Jesswar

Houndogs & Bullfrogs by Leopold’s Treat

That Old Heartache by Hussy Hicks


MUSIC CHAMPION OF THE YEAR, sponsored by TAFE Gold Coast

Cindy Jensen

Emily Holler

Glenn Tozer

Guy Cooper

Matt Webber


EVENT OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Hard Rock Café

Blues on Broadbeach

Buskers by the Creek

La Traviata at Spotlight Theatre

Summertime Sessions in the Village



VIDEO OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Gold Coast Film Festival

Baltimore Gun Club

Cheap Fakes

Amy Shark


Ella Fence

Casey Barnes

Hussy Hicks


VENUE OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Blank GC


Miami Marketta

Avenue Surfers



Currumbin Creek Tavern.


Let us welcome you to the awards presentation on 16 June. It’s the biggest party of the year for the City’s live music scene.

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The 2016 Gold Coast Music Awards are proudly presented by Blank Gold Coast along with our event partners and award sponsors: Burleigh Brewing Co., Southport Sharks Cabana Bar & Lounge, Griffith University and the Queensland Conservatorium’s Seed Program, NightQuarter, Hard Rock Cafe and TAFE Queensland Gold Coast. The awards are proudly supported by City of Gold Coast.


1 Comment

  • Reply May 27, 2016


    Looks like a fun night, unfortunatly I’m gigging that night so I won’t make it to the event!

    I vote #1 band from the Gold Coast are- THE VAN BAMS

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