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All shook up!

Elvis: A Musical Revolution hits the Gold Coast.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! Elvis fever is set to hit as the Gold Coast rolls out the red carpet to welcome the smash-hit national tour Elvis: A Musical Revolution. Hip-thrusting its way to our very city for its spectacular Queensland premiere. Clear the calendar, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is coming to town… we’re shook (up)!

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Naomi Jellicoe)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Naomi Jellicoe)

Opening on June 15, the award-winning Elvis musical will be rocking and rollin’ its way to the Gold Coast’s HOTA, Home of the Arts. Hosted by our technicolour hub of all things art, culture and cool for the entirety of the production’s Queensland run (you go Glen HOTA) – the stage will be hotting up as the all-star Australian cast dazzles with culture-defining ballads and captivating choreography to boot. Set to grace(land) the glitter strip for just four short weeks, this must-see production will be theatre at its most scintillating.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)

And really, would we expect anything less from a dazzling new bio-musical that follows the life of one of the most enigmatic musical phenomenons to have ever lived?! Proudly supported by Experience Gold Coast and authorised by Elvis Presley Enterprises, this high-energy new production is as legit as they come. Bust out the bellbottoms, blue suede shoes, and/or bedazzle as many unsuspecting garments as you can. Because it’s not every day you get to immerse yourself in the iconic legacy of the King of Rock and Roll!

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Ken Leanfore)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Ken Leanfore)

Penned by acclaimed international writers, the biopic musical is brought to life by some of the best in the biz. Shimmying and shaking its way through the pivotal moments in Elvis’ life from his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi through to his triumphant 1968 Comeback Special. Joined by a host of triple-threat Queenslanders, Rob Mallett (Home and Away, Singin’ in the Rain) shines as Elvis, as the homegrown cast leads us through all the twists and turns of this temperature-rising stage show.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)

Backed by a discography that spans over 150 gold, platinum and multi-platinum certified albums and singles, naturally, the stage show’s soundtrack is bursting with wall-to-wall bangers (or should we say wing-to-wing).

We can’t decide if we’re more excited to rock out to ‘A Little Less Conversation’ or ‘Hound Dog’, (obviously, it’s ‘Can’t help falling in love’, like the hapless romantics-at-heart we secretly are). With no less than 40 of The King’s catchiest and most-loved hits squeezed in to this leg-shaking extravaganza, expect to be toe tapping along to all your all-time faves from the archives from start to finish. Elvis worshippers and music nuts alike will be in their absolute element, here!

Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)
Elvis: A Musical Revolution (image by Nicole Cleary)

Attracting fans from all over Queensland for its short but sizzling residency, audiences of all ages will be awe-struck connecting with the music of a generation like never before. Don’t miss your chance to catch to this riveting, rhinestone-studded stage sensation before Elvis leaves the building once and for all!

Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
When: Opens 15 June, 2024

Words by Kellie Leader


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)

This foodie destination has to be serene to be believed

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Nestled in the scenically-blessed Tweed Valley countryside, Farm & Co Restaurant is a foodie haven famous for its sunflower-studded expanses and its unique farm-to-plate dining experience. Cudgen’s gorgeous drive-and-dine destination boasts a star-studded group of hospitality gurus who have harnessed this organic working farm’s magic.

Now they’re cooking up a fresh batch of experiences and tastes for us to discover. And we are ready as ever to oblige! What better time to escape the hustle-bustle and explore the wide open spaces a little further afield?

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Farm & Co has been described as one of the locals’ best-kept secrets. We apologise in advance to the locals for spreading the word but locations this good can’t stay on the down low forever.

Inspired by a love for great food and top-notch service, Farm & Co Restaurant is dedicated to educating, nourishing, and inspiring its guests with sustainable produce and simple yet delicious cooking. Savoured alongside the paddocks where produce is grown. It’s a true taste of the Tweed Coast, perfect for family friendly outings and special events.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Jump in the car and head south for the weekly ‘Spritz and Sticks’. Hosted from 1pm-3pm every Sunday, diners can enjoy a delicious weekly rotation of $8 fire roasted skewers and $8 spritzes. With options like Charred Pork Belly with House BBQ Glaze and Cucumber Pickle, Kingfish and Harissa with Mint Yoghurt or Oyster mushroom and miso butter with xo oil, all enjoyed with a selection of house-carbonated spritzes with house-made syrups. We’re there!

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Cementing Farm & Co’s status as a favourite among families and daytrippers, the recently revived ‘Day on the Lawn’ series bolsters the venue’s already popular restaurant and adjoining farmgate store and café offering. Hosted on the last Sunday of every month, the picture-perfect destination opens its gates for a day of picnicking and live music filled farm-style revelling on the restaurant lawn – and perhaps even a brush with farm’s resident rescue piggies Hank and Pepe, if we’re lucky!

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

But don’t put a fork in us yet, we’re not done.

Legendary restauranteur David Moyle has joined Farm & Co Restaurant’s team of culinary co-conspirators in an advisory capacity, working with venue manager Amy Brown to craft the restaurant’s new winter menu around the property’s anticipated seasonal spoils.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Joining perennial fan faves like the puffed-up Pizza Fritta bread and signature Wood-Smoked Lamb Shoulder, guests can expect a fresh wave of delights including the Roasted Gold Band Snapper with Leeks and Sunflower Seeds, and Ham Hock and Farm Cabbage Terrine with Gentlemans Relish. “We serve rustic, wholesome, good-quality food made with ingredients harvested daily from the farm as well as local organic produce, and David’s mentorship instils the confidence that what are doing is special, authentic and unique,” says Amy.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Anyone else suddenly very keen for a weekend sojourn south of the border? If you’re craving a culinary adventure that’s as fresh as the produce on your plate, make your way to Farm & Co

Farm & Co Restaurant
Dinner: Thursday – Saturday (reservations 4pm – 7pm)
Lunch: Friday – Sunday (reservations 12pm – 3pm)
+ Sunday Brunch, Sunday Picnics and Sunday Spritz & Sticks (walk ins only)

Farm Store Café
Wednesday – Friday 7am – 2pm
Saturday and Sunday – 7am – 3pm

Where: 529 Cudgen Rd, Cudgen

Pro tip: visit Friday – Sunday when you can add a farm stroll to your restaurant experience!

Words by Kellie Leader
Images by Mathilde Bouby


Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Emily Jade O’Keeffe

Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)

She is a force to be reckoned with and she is the female voice behind Gold Coast’s number one radio Breakfast Show on 1029 Hot Tomato. Add to that, she is the newly appointed ‘Tanya’ in the upcoming Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical (produced by GC Local Matt Ward). Emily Jade O’Keeffe is a woman of many talents, so it was only fitting that we interviewed the Gold Coast sweetheart ahead of her taking to The Star Gold Coast’s stage from Saturday 19th June this year. We chat about her career, her loves of the Gold Coast and what it will be like preparing for her new role!

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived here on and off for 18 years now, the last stint has been for the last 9 years.

Tell us a bit about your career to date.
I’ve been working in the media for the last 25 years. I started in Tasmania in radio and moved all around the country for work; from Tassie to Townsville and everywhere in between. My highlights have been launching 1029 Hot Tomato and having a number one Breakfast Show – Galey, Emily Jade and Christo – here for 7 years now. I also launched Nova in Brisbane and was No 1 for 4 years there. Earlier on, I was working on Mornings with Kerri-Anne and with Channel 9 for 5 years. I also wrote during that time for the Courier Mail for a number of years both in print and being one of their first bloggers (when blogging became a big thing) as ‘Emily Everywhere’ which became their most-read blog.

What career achievement are you most proud of?
I don’t have one I’m most proud of, I’ve been happy with every stage and what they all led to each time. My career has kept me busy and happy and fulfilled at every step. I feel really blessed to have been able to evolve and change and grab each opportunity as it came.

Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)
Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)

Growing up you performed in a variety of musicals and have been described as a self-confessed ‘drama nerd’, what initially drew you to the stage?
Both my grandfathers were performers. My grandad on my mum’s side was very musical and in bands and my grandad on my dad’s side was an amateur actor. That trickled down to both my Dad and Mum. I watched Dad act in local theatre and Mum play piano daily, so I was always around music and drama and I guess it was both nature and nurture in my family. I then continued the tradition but monetised it in the end by making it my full-time career.

What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming role as ‘Tanya’ in the Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical?
It’s come at a time where I needed some healing and fun after a marriage breakdown and as I get used to a new normal and new family dynamic, I really was searching for some light at the end of the tunnel. This gives me a chance to laugh and have fun with new amazing people and do what I love best, which is perform and make people smile.

What is your all-time favourite ABBA song and why?
That’s like asking who is your favourite child – I can’t answer that one. I love them all! ABBA Gold was the first CD I ever got. I got it for Christmas and if CDs could wear out, that one nearly did.

How much preparation goes into playing your part as ‘Tanya’?
I think Tanya is a lot like me, so some parts will come naturally, she’s cheeky, fun but loving and a fierce friend and that’s me. I just need to nail the dance moves and singing, rehearsals start soon so I’ll let you know.

Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: Double Barrel Benowa
Coffee spot: Randy Warhol Southport
Restaurant: Kiyomi at The Star
Bar or pub for a drink: Nineteen at The Star

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I just love keeping it low key with lots of family time with the kids, parents and friends of my kids which involve good cheese and wine in friends backyards or my backyard while the kids play in the pool or run around having adventures, while we chill and chat.


Mamma Mia! The Musical opens on Saturday 19th June 2021 at The Star Gold Coast, grab your tickets here.

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