VIDEO: Finalists announced for the 2016 Gold Coast Music Awards

The city-wide search for the Gold Coast’s best musicians, bands, venues and events has revealed a diverse and thriving music scene with Gold Coast Music Awards talented finalists spanning musical genres from heavy rock to opera.

Singer-songwriter Ella Fence was awarded a record four finals spots while Amy Shark, Hussy Hicks and Leopold’s Treat were all awarded two finalist places each at the finalist announcement at Chapter and Verse bar and lounge today.

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.

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, plus the chance to perform at the Bluesfest Byron busker’s stage and paid gigs at music events and venues across the Coast.

Organiser Samantha Morris said the finalists reflected the diversity and quality of the music scene on the Gold Coast. “It’s testament to the quality and calibre of the finalists that most of the artists are in all corners of the world touring at the moment,” said Ms Morris.

“I was buoyed to see the finalists were from such diverse musical genres and was interested to see the hotly contested Song Of The Year category this year is an all-female race. There is a hive of activity on the Gold Coast music scene and we want to shine a spotlight on the people and places that make this incredible city’s music,” she said.

Jenna Dearness Dark performing at the finalist announcement. PHOTO: Carla Tooma - myGC

Jenna Dearness Dark performing at the finalist announcement. PHOTO: Carla Tooma – myGC

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 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.”

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.

For further information about the Gold Coast Music Awards visit: