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Mindy Davies and Dani Miller

Tully John and Liza Jane at Hotel Miami by Shenna Heard
Adam Harpaz at Hotel Miami by Shenna Heard
Loki Liddle at Hotel Miami by Shenna Heard

They’re the creative paired who launched the Gold Coast arm of Sofar Sounds, a worldwide music event bringing unique and extremely intimate gigs to the people.

Passionate about breaking down the barrier between artist and audience, Mindy and Dani came together to bring the secretive events to our beachside city.

We sat down for a chat with the girls about why the mysterious gigs are so popular and the beauty of adventuring into the unknown.

How long have you been Gold Coast locals? 
Mindy: I’ve lived on the Gold Coast for eight years, I moved here to study when I was 18.
Dani:
I moved here when I was 10 so I’ve spent a big chunk of my life on the Gold Coast. I moved away for Uni and then spent a couple of years living and working in London, but moved back a year ago. I’m happy to be back as a local.

What do you love about living here?
Mindy:
I love waking up and being able to walk down to the beach for a swim and then up to Burleigh Point and be in a rainforest. I love that the Gold Coast is getting a more diverse arts and culture scene, it has changed a lot since I first moved here and all for the better.
Dani:
Since moving back to the Gold Coast I have noticed a dramatic change in the culture, more small, interesting bars, music venues, gallery spaces and cool event spaces are popping up. It’s exciting to be living in a city that is really supporting and growing its arts scene. And the beaches are picture perfect!

How did you get involved with Sofar Sounds?
Mindy:
I first heard about Sofar because a friend of mine sent me some videos from the YouTube and I absolutely loved the concept. A couple of years later that same friend said he was running the Helsinki Sofar. This inspired me to email the global team and see if I could start it on the Gold Coast. Luckily for me, around the same time Dani had been in contact with them so they put us in contact, we went out for a glass of wine and we have been working together to make these events happen since then!
Dani: When I was living in London I went to a few of the London Sofar events (London is the birth place of the Sofar concept). I fell in love with the concept and when I came home I thought I would start one on the Gold Coast. As Mindy mentioned timing worked out perfectly, we put our heads together and it’s been a great adventure so far.

Can you explain what it’s all about? 
Sofar Sounds is an intimate music event that happens in unique spaces. It’s in over 400 cities around the world and we started it on the Gold Coast in June last year. It’s about breaking down a barrier between the artist and music lovers and providing a space to be still and listen to the music.

Why do you think the idea has become so popular?
The whole idea of saying yes to an event that you have no ideas what will happen is so mysterious and exciting. You don’t know where you’re going, who will be playing or anything! We live in a world where we have all the answers at the tip of our fingers so it’s refreshing to enjoy the feeling of a spontaneous weeknight adventure.

Why did you think the Coast needed events like this?
We both love going to see live music, but we really felt like there were limited venues where we could regularly go and see good live music and really be there and listen to it. We felt like the Coast needed an event like this to provide a space where you can really connect with the music and we’ve had sell out shows every month since we started so I guess a lot of people felt the same. New venues like Mo’s Desert Clubhouse and events like Dust Temple Listening Parties have popped up in the last year, which is really exciting for live music on the Gold Coast.

What’s the plan for 2018? 
We don’t want to lose the beauty of the simplicity of these events because it’s all about the music and creating a space for people to connect. So nothing too different however this year I think we’ll be pushing towards collaborating with the Gold Coast creative community in other ways and other arts forms…you’ll see!

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received? 
“Find out what makes you kinder, what opens you up and brings out the most loving, generous, and unafraid version of you – and go after those things as if nothing else matters. Because, actually, nothing does.” George Saunders.

Favourites on the Coast:
Beach: Mindy: Burleigh Heads and Talle Creek
Dani: Kirra
Cafe: Mindy: My regulars are Dust Temple and Stones Throw
Dani: Ohhhh I love Good Day Coffee in Tugun, that mushroom sanga is too good
Restaurant: Mindy: I love Greenhouse Canteen in Miami
Dani: Tupe Aloha in Kirra, great food and great vibes, the staff are legends

How does your weekend usually look?
Mindy: On the weekend my time is usually split between going to gigs, doing some of my creative work and I try to find some time to get to yoga, read a book and catch up with friends.
Dani: It always starts with a sleep in and then a good coffee. Then I love a bit of chill time at the beach. There’s always a gig or an art exhibition thrown in the mix there and I usually try and catch up with my family.

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