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Hallmarks of a great city are its liveability, and the Gold Coast is, arguably, one of the most liveable cities in Australia, if not the world.
And hallmarks of a liveable city are well designed public spaces, connectivity, connectedness, great food and a thriving arts and cultural scene.
It is this ecosystem – whereby the sum of the parts makes the whole – that has put the Gold Coast on the map as, as not only a popular tourist destination, but a national cultural hotspot (with some of the best surf breaks on the East coast).
The question now, with Covid-19 infiltrating our professional and domestic lives, and explicitly impacting events, festivals and the entertainment industry more broadly, how will this affect the Gold Coast’s eco-system over the coming months and years?
The Grattan Institute recently reported that as many as 3 in 4 Australians employed in the creative and performing arts are forecast to lose their jobs as a result of the restrictions on mass gatherings and venue closures.
This, in amongst the devastating job losses from other industries, will require significant investment from all levels of Government to maintain and ensure a healthy eco-system.
Events such as Bleach*, Glow, Blues and Swell invite us to celebrate as a community and see the City from a different perspective. These large-scale outdoor spectacles have helped define the Gold Coast as an event destination. They bring local residents together and attract visitors from other states.
Reimagining these experiences post-Covid-19 is essential to build and maintain community pride and draw visitors back to the region.
According to recent cultural tourism study conducted by Australia Council, tourists are twice as likely to visit a place, stay longer and spend more money because of the cultural experiences and events offered in that City.
To ensure the post-COVID-19 future for the Gold Coast is bright, we must continue to invest in entertainment and events, so when the borders reopen, to both the domestic and international markets, we’re ready to deliver world-class experiences and events that we’ve become known for.
The entertainment industry is extraordinarily innovative and adaptive.
Covid-19 has seen us turn our homes into venues for awards nights, arias and concertos, festivals and feasts streamed live from around the globe. And whilst this has been welcomed by many, it is no match for experiencing all these things IRL – in real life, with our friends, family and loved ones.
I’m imagining the day (or night) when we’re back, part of a crowd, jostling for the best view in the house, listening to our favourite band, laughing out loud with a theatre packed to the rafters or being wowed by a virtuosic performance under the stars. Because without these great cultural experiences, the Gold Coast will be missing a valuable part of its ecosystem.
Discover more about Placemakers* Gold Coast HERE