Gold soundz – The Tivoli unveils its new band room and bar What’s Golden
Ask any Brisbane-based live-music fan, and we guarantee they’ll have have a story to share about a gig they saw at The Tivoli. Since it was first transformed into The Tivoli Restaurant and Theatre in 1989, the building has housed countless shows, from Slash and PJ Harvey to Nick Cave, The Go-Betweens and Missy Higgins. Everyone has a tale to tell about a performance that blew them away, meaning that of all of Brisbane’s cultural landmarks, The Tivoli might boast the most amount of shared history. The Tivoli’s current owners – brothers Steve and Dave Sleswick – have sought to enhance The Tivoli’s offering for contemporary needs, transforming its entry foyer into the intimate entertainment space What’s Golden. The boutique space officially opens this week, and marks a new era in The Tivoli’s history – a period where countless more punters will undoubtedly accumulate the next wave of fond memories.
Steve and Dave Sleswick have been toying around with the idea of overhauling The Tivoli’s entry space ever since they took over the venue in 2016. The idea was to maximise space and add flexibility to their booking schedule without muddying the iconic venue’s decades-forged spiritual and visual identity. What’s Golden – The Tivoli’s new 250-person band room – is an intimate venue-within-a-venue that enhances the location’s existing floorspace, adding a boutique alternative to the 1500-capacity auditorium. Here, Steve and Dave have navigated the tightrope between past and future, honing in on a concept that retained The Tivoli’s best bits and saved them from being cast into a pit of ire from longtime punters. The duo worked with restoration specialist and designer Aaron Barton to reimagine the space, which spans from the venue’s front entry and ticket box, past the main bar that runs along The Tivoli’s north-western wall, to the far end of the foyer. The overhaul has entailed a complete redesign of the existing bar, reimagining the box office as a new cocktail bar and the installation of the second stage. Set designer Sarah Winter was recruited to give the space an aesthetic once-over, preserving The Tivoli’s Art-Deco appeal by adding some decorative touches (think plush vintage furnishings, historical memorabilia from The Tivoli’s past and some old-world accoutrements) throughout.
What’s Golden gives The Tivoli’s booking team the chance to curate shows that sit at a level below those commonly showcased on the main stage. Local, national and international acts are expected to grace the stage, and Steve and Dave are eager to work with local creatives to help program What’s Golden’s calendar with a diverse selection of performers. The stage itself has been equipped with a state-of-the-art audio and lighting set up, with great care given to ensuring the room sounds incredible when acts are in full flight. To cater for potential overflow, What’s Golden can expand into the rear of the main auditorium, which is curtained off to retain an intimate feel. The new bar will dispense a selection of craft beer and classic cocktails, while the back bar itself boasts a strong whisky focus. Throughout the day, the lounge space at the entry will operate as a casual hangout space, with vinyl records soundtracking a handy coffee service. What’s Golden officially opens to the public tonight, Tuesday August 27, with a sold-out launch event, and several shows have already been announced for the coming months. Expect to see the likes of Clea, New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma, Betty Grumble, Jim Lauderdale and Good Boy between now and October.
Head to the Stumble Guide for more information.