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7 fierce places that put Drag Queens centrestage

They are all fabulous darling!

Flamboyance at The Pink Flamingo
Flamboyance at The Pink Flamingo (image supplied)

Getting out and about for a few drinks with friends can at times be a bit same-ol’ same-ol’. And we don’t mean this in a negative way. But sometimes nights out can seem like reruns of our favourite shows — sure, they’re fun, but you know the plotline. Somebody will drink too much, somebody will kiss a stranger, and naturally, there will be one too many espresso martinis.

So how does one shake up the status quo a little? Drag Queens, of course!

And if you weren’t aware, a number of Gold Coast venues regularly host the most magnificent and fun-loving drag queens to mix up and add some jazz to any outing. Not just one for the ladies either; it’s been noted guys have just as much fun when it comes to the ensuing high kicks and frivolities. Have a read and find out where on the Gold Coast you can enjoy a night out with Drag Queens.

Miami Marketta
For the last nine years, this multi-faceted venue has been entertaining, feeding and bringing together locals in a way no other business has, and for this, it deserves a round of applause. When they’re not showcasing renowned national, and international music acts, you’ll find their doors open three nights a week with a massive variety of the Coast’s best street food as well as art and fashion. You’ll also come across their habitual sold-out ticketed Drag Bingo and one-off Drag Comedy evenings, which are not to be missed!
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

The Island Gold Coast Brunch with Bite
The Island Brunch with Bite (image supplied)

The Island
This iconic hotel has one of the Gold Coast’s largest open-air rooftops and is the place to be when the sun is shining, and you feel the need to quench that hard-earned thirst with some beautifully put together cocktails. Keep up to date with what’s on as they regularly host drag events with a difference, like their laugh-a-minute Brunch with Bite and fun-loving Hey Felicia Drag and Dine Musical. Did we mention there are drinks packages? — Yassss!
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

The Avenue
What is there not to like about this Surfers Paradise behemoth: they simply have it all. Regardless of what day of the week it is or what time even, The Avenue makes itself one of the best places to either come and relax or live it up — all underpinned by slurp-worthy drinks and the yummiest of food. More often than not, themed party nights are going down, with Thursday being the night for risqué jokes aplenty with Dragalicious.
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Dragalicious at The Avenue
Dragalicious at The Avenue (image supplied)

The Pink Flamingo
The Gold Coast’s premier cabaret performance and event venue, the list of hot-under-the-collar shows and eye-catching ladies/lads here is as long as your arm — and then some! You have some serious options when it comes to being entertained; however, if you feel the need for some flamboyant and over the top drag queen amusement, look no further than the Sunday stage show: Flamboyance. A sophisticated fusion of drag quuen cabaret and burlesque with an after-party that will keep you long into the night.
Where: Corner of 88 Surf Parade &, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach  

The Park Coomera
When it comes to finding family-friendly entertainment, great valued food and an overall great atmosphere, you’re hard pushed to look past The Park at Coomera. Yet when it comes to what’s on for big kids, there are plenty of options throughout the week to get you out the house — and away from the actual kids if need be. Take your pick between routine karaoke and unlimited bowling nights, but the star attraction has to be their monthly Drag Queen Bingo — the best way to laugh off a traumatic Monday at the office!
Where: Westfield Coomera, 103 Foxwell Road, Coomera 

Drag Queen Bingo Gold Coast (image supplied)
Drag Queen Bingo Gold Coast (image supplied)

Aviary Rooftop Bar
If there is a competitive streak in you, then we require your full attention. Drag Queen Bingo with Natasha St. James is your opportunity not only to win big (how does a $100 bar tab sound?) but also an opportunity to have an absolutely side-splitting evening as well. Ms St. James will take you through five rounds of number calling with two outrageous performances thrown in there along the way. If this doesn’t get you out of the house on a weekday night, nothing will!
Where: Mantra Southport Sharks, 5 Melia Court, Southport

Fat Freddy’s
Break the norm and spoil yourself with the most lavish and calorific Americana feast on the Gold Coast at Fat Freddy’s in Broadbeach. Once suitably fuelled up, make sure you stick around for their Drag Queen Trivia with their over the top and hilarious host, Mya-Carphone: expect naughty behaviour and outlandish jokes in abundance!
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach 

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Photo by Alejandro Cartagena on Unsplash
Photo by Alejandro Cartagena on Unsplash

The Avenue

15 live music venues on the Gold Coast

Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

There are a great many things to get amongst on the GC, and these days, a thriving local music scene is undeniably one of them. And we can all agree, if there’s one thing that takes kicking back with a frosty refreshment to a whole new level, it’s getting your ears around some sweet tunes while you do it.

From dank, hidden indie dive bars to classic pub-style serenades for the whole fam to vibe to – whatever genre you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be a venue to match.

Hound & Stag
The new kid on Arundel’s block has been hitting all the right notes since they slid open their enormous barn door late last year. Hound and Stag is now the GC’s largest combining craft brews and live music, and honestly, how could you go wrong with a combo like that?! The regular array of gigs, open mic nights and 90’s nights are the big old auditory cherry on top of an excellent atmosphere, brew-pub bites and endless frosty beverages here, folks.
Where: 13 Wrights Place, Arundel

Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Southport Sharks
One of Queenland’s largest AFL clubs, Southport Sharks is a family-friendly gem that’s more than merely a haven for footy fans to wet their whistles. With multiple venues and areas built-in, this Babushka doll vibing spot always has something going on, including live acts every weekend if you’re in the mood to groove. Every Friday and Saturday night, there’s an assortment of free gigs going down, from retro RnB shows, classic pub rock to tribute acts to get those toes tapping. Might we suggest first swinging by Mozza Mozza, apparently carb-loading is important before strenuous activity.
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport

Vinnies Dive
We can always count on our local dive bar to deliver us the very dankest of gigs, and Vinnie’s Dive does exactly that. Championing our local music scene, they’re no strangers to big alt/indie names such as Dear Seattle, DZ Deathrays, Wil Wagner (The Smith Street Band) The Bennies and Regurgiator gracing their small but mighty stage – in addition to karaoke and themed tribute nights. We think this review sums it up best: “It’s dark, the floors are sticky, the toilets seats are occasionally broken, the beers are icy cold and the staff are the best people you’ll ever meet.” Get down there for great times and even better gigs (just leave the flimsy pluggas at home).
Where: Shops A & B, 44A Nerang Street, Southport

Vinnies Dive (image supplied)
Vinnies Dive (image supplied)

The Avenue
When it comes to finding live acts and having yourself a good time on the central Gold Coast, you’ll be hard pushed to look past The Avenue in Surfers Paradise. From comedy nights, drag shows, DJ’s, karaoke and themed evenings, there’s something going down at The Avenue each and every night of the week.

Work week got you feeling flat? We recommend Tunes on Tuesday or Feel Good Friday’s to recharge with some dance therapy and pulse-pounding beats. Those vibes will be back on track in no time.
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Surfers Pavilion
Should you arrive by jet ski or by Uber, it doesn’t matter. Surfers Pavilion is your one-stop venue in the heart of Surfers Paradise for drinks, eats and catching a live DJ set or two. And not just any disc jockeys either; The Stafford Brothers and Peking Duk have both played to jubilant crowds here in recent times. Currently, the wheels of steel are spinning Thursday and Friday evenings and all through the weekend: perfect long weekend territory.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

The Home of the Arts is certainly doing the heavy lifting to finally elevate the arts and culture scene here in our section of Queensland. From intimate, indoor performances to the homegrown darlings and headline acts routinely taking one of Australia’s best outdoor stages – the variety of shows are as varied and vibrant as its technicolour exterior. For an impeccable way to kick off the weekend, it’s hard to go past Fridays on the Lawn. Grab a blanket, acquire a drink from their lawn bar, and relax in their sophisticated sun-kissed setting whilst being serenaded by some stellar local talent to celebrate the end of the working week.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Den Devine
Open Tuesday to Sunday for your listening pleasure, Den Devine feature jazz and blues artists from a talent pool right here in our city. This intimate, hidden venue is well-known amongst live music fans, so we definitely recommend booking in advance to nab a seat. Grab a some eats and sips from their serious selection of whisky (the perfect accompaniment to some moody blues) and the equally stacked Mediterranean menu, and vibe to a selection of the best performers on the Gold Coast six nights a week.
Where: 15 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach

Garden Kitchen & Bar at The Star Gold Coast
When it comes to star-studded acts and internationally recognised music performances, The Star Gold Coast is the place to grab a seat in a full-blown theatre and experience music as it was intended.

To keep you bopping in-between headline acts, there’s also live and free tunes going down on the reg, in the open air ambience of Garden Kitchen & Bar’s Live on the Lawn series. Every weekend, the beats come courtesy of DJ’s, soloists, and if you time it just right, the likes of world-class powerhouse vocalist, Lisa Hunt on select Fridays. Goosebumps incoming.
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Having duly stamped its authority on the Nobby Beach bar scene as the place to go for frolic fuelled nights, these guys will have you rocking out until the wee hours with a live band or DJ every night of the week. The venue also offers new bands the chance to get themselves out there, so keep an eye out for fresh talent!
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Highway, Nobbys Beach

Miami Marketta
Build it, and they will come… though it’s not clear in this analogy if the ‘they’ should be the steady stream of stellar, live music acts, the hungry hordes, or adoring music fans. Either way, this iconic laneway has established itself as a cracking spot for many things, including one of the best places to catch a gig on the GC.

From 5pm every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Miami comes alive with foods from all around the world mixed with local blues, jazz and independent artists. A hotspot doing some solid heavy lifting to attract incredible national and international acts as they tour the country – Be sure to keep an eye on their gig calendar; tickets always sell out fast!
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

Miami Marketta (image supplied)
Miami Marketta (image supplied)

Burleigh’s original back alley after-hours haunt is always an epic time. Nightjar is known for late-night revelry and an often stellar line-up of weekly live music. With drink specials aplenty, come and enjoy local acts as they take to the floor and keep the swinging yet sultry atmosphere going long into the night.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
Burleigh’s multi-use music, space hire and events hub, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is a melting pot of goings-on and a principal meeting place for muso’s, movers and shakers and music lovers across the GC. The industrial-style venue is outfitted with a fully stocked bar and equally stacked gig guide, so refer back often and make sure you pencil in a date with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse ASAP.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads

Mo's Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh (image supplied)
Mo's Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh (image supplied)

Burleigh Town Hotel
A fresh af new look is not the only thing Burleigh Town Hotel is boasting these days, also ‘drumming up’ a very solid live entertainment schedule studded with emerging bands and popular Aussie acts to get your ears around. There’s DJ’s and acoustic artists bringing tunes to the beer garden most weekends, along with with Punk, Motown and Pop themed tribute shows – where you can hit the d-floor to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Robbie Williams and queen Kylie (gold hot pants optional).
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)
Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)

This gem is a favourite among live music fans, having hosted a slew of local, national and international icons — but it also remains one of our best-kept secrets. Find your way down to Currumbin RSL, where, hidden just above, Soundlounge hosts acts from folk soloists and DJs to rock and roll bands. Listening to fantastic live music can be a hungry business, but this venue has you covered with food options, including pizza, an a la carte restaurant and bar snacks.
Where: 165 Duringan Street, Currumbin

The Coolangatta Hotel
Whether you’ve been catching world-class waves or lounging in the afternoon sun, Coolangatta — and specifically the Coolangatta Hotel — has long been known as one of the best for rounding out a perfect afternoon with live music. Being one of the Gold Coast’s largest live music venues, this OG frequently features both national and international touring bands and DJs on any given weekend. In between catching your fave big names, rock out to live, local tunes every Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun.
Where: Cnr Warner Street and Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Kellie Leader.

Creekfest at Soundlounge (image supplied)
Creekfest at Soundlounge (image supplied)

The Pink Flamingo

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