Dizzy Steer to co-ordinate trance venues with Tuckshop
TORIN O'Brien would hand his concrete jungle over to a big trance gig in a heartbeat if it had the floor space.
New owner of Rockhampton's Dizzy Steer club, Mr O'Brien hosts both indoor and outdoor gigs for heavy metal and psy-trance fans, but even his spacious garden venue isn't big enough to accommodate the travelling Tuckshop show.
Tuckshop, an events organiser based in Mackay, relocated a gig to Townsville after they were allegedly snubbed by seven Rockhampton clubs.
Mr O'Brien, a Muay Thai fighter trainer, also worked as a promoter in Melbourne and New Zealand before buying the South Rockhampton club which still bears the Grind Brothers signage.
He and his wife have grand plans to merge the indoor Muay Thai studio with the club rooms and "concrete jungle" beer yard below, and renovate the whole complex before its grand opening next year.
Mr O'Brien is confounded that Rockhampton venues would knock back the opportunity to make some easy money.
"Tuckshop is a show which travels all around Australia and New Zealand and has its own artists, lighting, desks and sound systems," he said.
"Even if I despised this kind of music, if I had a venue big enough to host it, I'd be jumping at the chance to make 20 grand in one night for very little work."
Tickets are booking fast for the Townsville gig which was slated for Rockhampton, before yet another CBD venue pulled the plug.
Like many heavy metal and dub/trance fans, Mr O'Brien invests a lot of time and money in travelling away to see world class shows around Australia and occasionally overseas.
He cited the Tropical Bloom festival, held on private property at Hedlow Creek, as successful in reversing the trend.
"The trance crowd is typically happy, relaxed and loyal," he said.
"Chasing the music is part of their identity, it's a way of living and they'll spend their wages on accommodation and travel, food and shopping to hear what they want.
"It's a massive niche with huge economic figures attached to it but apparently some Rockhampton owners aren't interested because it's not their style."
As for the concerns expressed on social media that dub/trance gigs would attract drug users to the night-life scene, Mr O'Brien is prepared to be "really brutal" in his response.
"Just this week there were hundreds of thousands of people gathered at a horse race to get absolutely s--- faced, drink and fight all day," he said.
"There were copious drugs but no-one's going to talk about it because it's a flash event.
"Everyone's prepared to turn a blind eye to how disgusting the behaviour is, how much rubbish they leave lying around."
Mr O'Brien said it came down to a divide between the generations.
"The baby boomers turn up their noses at the millenials, the millenials go spend their money elsewhere," he said.
"It's pretty stupid to be honest.
"You can say what you like about our taste in music but we'd rather hang out with people at live music gigs than the bogans who drink XXXX every night at home."
Mr O'Brien has joined forces with Tuckshop to bring their roadshow gig to Rockhampton, perhaps for the first public holiday in 2020.
He is keen to talk with local venue owners who have a suitably sized venue.
"We want to pull off a fun gig for Australia Day and have an after party here at the Dizzy Steer," he said.
"There are some cool secret plans we'll reveal later."
In the meantime, punters can catch a more modest sized gig, the Anomalous Sound techno/psy trance experience, at the Dizzy Steer tonight, Friday 8 November, from 6pm.