Not so stranded
By the early 1980s, 4ZZZ had extended its activities beyond
the University to cultivate live music in a number of city and inner suburban
pubs, and staged a series of successful events at Cloudland. A small indie underground
scene presented a mixed bag of subcultures including goths, punks, mods,
swampies, rude boys and rockabillies, however efforts to nurture local acts
amid the chaos of promoters, licensing authorities and fractured audiences
proved impossible. On the whole, the band scene in 1980s Brisbane was
characterised by instability, venue shortage and exodus, as several bands
sought opportunity elsewhere.
As 4ZZZ Joint Efforts became increasingly sporadic, Market
Days were instituted in 1988 as a fundraising measure, and paved the way for a
new avenue of live music –festivals. Peter Walsh’s Livid Festival, first staged
at the University of Queensland in 1989, became a major annual event in the
1990s, and other festivals emerged as the decade progressed.
Brisbane finally came into its own in the 1990s, as a
succession of local bands achieved prominence beyond the border. National radio
station Triple J’s Unearthed initiative added to Radio 4ZZZ’s efforts in
sourcing and promoting independent local artists. When Powderfinger released
their 1998 album Internationalist,
not only did it win multiple ARIA awards and spend 100 weeks at the top of the
ARIA Albums charts, but the band did it all without leaving home.