Gold Coast Music Awards 2021: Live Act of the Year

That pounding in your chest, those vibrations through your entire body, the sweat, the crowds, the energy up on stage… there’s nothing quite like live music experiences. Most of us have a handful that stand out for a variety of reasons, and this year’s crop of Live Act of the Year finalists are no different. And as professional musicians, for some of them it’s their own live experiences that get to live rent free in their heads year-round. Lucky! Here are some of this year’s finalists with their all time favourite live music experiences…

Casey Barnes

On a personal note it’s probably my first ever BIG break in music when I got to open for Bryan Adams for A Day On The Green. I’ll never ever forget that…. that’s what basically kickstarted everything for me.

Hussy Hicks

We once played a show in the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere which is one of the most beautiful places in Rome. Hearing our songs bounce off the walls of that ancient square was unbelievable. Almost no one in the crowd knew who we were but minutes into our very short set everyone became totally engaged and we finished in a frenzy of appreciation reverberating around those same walls – definitely one of the most incredible stage experiences either of us have ever had.

Peach Fur (Denny)

One of the most memorable would have to be Groovin The Moo, 2015 in Newcastle. As a whole day but in particular, Flight Facilities’ set was next level. It was just after we formed the band and met Lemme, our bass player and decided on the name Peach Fur. Benny and I were walking through the crowd when we ran into a guy with a peach coloured furry wig on, that just solidified the name. FF then delivered one of the most life changing musical experiences ever. This is what inspired one of our first songs called ‘Vibrations’.

Karl S Williams

I remember seeing Leonard Cohen when he toured out here (in 2013 I believe). He hadn’t toured in years and I never dreamed that I could see him live. I was way in the back of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and it struck me how that distance just shrank away to nothing – his generosity of spirit really reached out across the room. When he played ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’ it really struck me hard that I was in the room with the guy who had been there with Janis Joplin and written that song all those years ago. It was as if all that history suddenly became real for me in one paralysing instant.


It would probably be the last 3 shows I played on the TROPIXX tour!! We got lucky and were able to put on three warehouse shows before all the lockdowns. The energy was hectic! It felt like everyone had been holding on for so long and we had one night to rage!

Tijuana Cartel

At one of our gigs in the early days, there was a gorgeous young Swedish woman having a great time, who took all her clothes off on the dance floor and started naked dancing in the crowd. She got kicked out, so then she started climbing the lamp posts out the front. The venue manager started chasing her around the car park later in the night, but she was a fair bit nimbler than he, and the chase went on for a bit. It was all pretty hilarious!

Live Act of the Year is sponsored by Gold Coast Music.

Full list of Live Act of the year finalists: Busby Marou – Casey Barnes – Donny Love – Hussy Hicks – Jesswar – Karl S Williams – Peach Fur – Selve – Tijuana Cartel.

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