ALL ages gigs in Toowoomba are almost exclusively chaotic, sweaty things for various types of hardcore, punk + pop punk bands playing to a packed house.
Bands include the hill on their national tours, local acts get up and support bigger, often international bands … a couple of years ago, gigs were every other month.
But lately more and more venues have been saying no; Gigs are irregular, underground yet remain astoundingly attended.
So why, if they’re so popular, are they so thin on the ground?
Twenty-year-old photographer, Kirsten Butters wants more.
‘Music Seen’ is her first solo, photographic exhibition opening in the MARS gallery on theGRID, Friday September 05.
“I want to prove that the Toowoomba (all ages) music scene is not dead,” Butters said. “ I want to show that people are willing to come here and willing to play their music.”
“The scene is a tight community, a big group of friends,’ she explained. “As they’re not old enough to drive, regular trips to Brisbane are not viable and most of the gigs in Brisbane are 18+.
“Local venues have cracked down on hosting these all ages gigs.”
Butters rounded up Brisbane pop-punk band, ‘The Lost Knights’ to perform at her exhibition opening.
Band frontman is Jesse Luque, a USQ Creative Arts student majoring in music who commutes from Brisbane to Toowoomba for his studies.
Luque said Butters has been photographing the band for the past year, as well as his previous project, ‘Goodnight Midnight’ .
“She seems to be able to catch the moment and emotion really well.”
Of the challenges facing the all ages, hardcore scene on the hill, Luque said it’s a shame the actions of some affect the experience of many.
“Its just I think it just some kids display their emotions to the music differently to others.
“But then at the same time, those select few who are doing that can spoil the event for others – cause like you said there aren’t anymore all ages bookings at your venue.”
With ‘Music Seen’ opening 7pm FRIDAY, September 05, Butters hopes the issues restricting all age, hardcore gigs to ‘every now and then’ can be addressed by punters, promoters + venues alike.
“Our scene missing all ages gigs – it’s missing the respect that it deserves because all this people come to these gigs … and what else is there really to do in this town (in a live music sense)?
“The people that come are also missing the respect for the venues, organisers …”
JOIN US 7pm – 9pm FRIDAY, September 05 to open ‘Music Seen: a visual documentary of Toowoomba’s live music’.
Cash bar, nibbles + The Lost Knights live set.
MARS in on theGRID at Level 1, 488 Ruthven Street Toowoomba (Above Cotton On).
this project has received financial assistance from the Regional Arts Development Fund. The RADF is a QLD government initiative through an Arts Queensland and Toowoomba Regional Council partnership to support local arts + culture.