John Collins takes us through his favourite Fortitude Music Hall memories

Happy first birthday to The Fort!

Brisbane venue Fortitude Music Hall just celebrated one year since they first opened their doors, and what a first year it has been! They’ve played host to come of the biggest and best names in music – from top-notch local talent to some of our international favourites – and they’ve welcomed thousands of music fans into their walls every single week.

Located in Brunswick Street Mall in the heart of Fortitude Valley – Brisbane’s foremost music destination – The Fortitude Music Hall pays homage to iconic Brisbane venue Festival Hall, which was located in the space from 1959 to 2003. The 3,000 capacity venue is the largest ballroom/theatre-style space in Australia.

In celebration of the milestone, we asked co-owner, and Australian music legend, John ‘JC’ Collins to take us through some of his favourite Fortitude Music Hall memories from the past 12 months.

fortitude music hall ribbon cutting
Can you believe it has been a year since JC officially cut The Fortitude Music Hall’s ribbon?

Fortitude Music Hall’s Opening Night

John Collins: ” It was fantastic to finally see some people in the venue after three years in the making. It was also very special to have some of Queensland’s finest artist perform on the night, and a personal highlight for me was to see my old mates Bernard and Hoggie get up with a pumping DZ Deathrays.”

Being part of Bigsound 2019

John Collins: “Bigsound has always been a huge feather in the cap of Queensland’s music industry. To see the Fortitude almost become a hub for the event was a big thrill for all of us. It was fantastic to see the venue space used in a different way with keynote speakers and also the big industry after-party on the Thursday night.”


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Ruel kicking off his tour for sophomore EP Free Time

John Collins: “What a crazy day and night. We had his fans lined up from the night before and by the afternoon of the show, there were 3000 fans waiting outside the front of the venue. Once we opened the doors, the fans rushed the stage and even managed to take a solid door of its hinges. It was awesome to see a show with such enthusiastic young fans and a great performance by Ruel.”


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Kasey Chambers celebrating the 20th Anniversary of her ground-breaking album The Captain

John Collins: “After using the room in a few different formats it was great to see a seated show, and the quality of musicianship from Kasey and her band was the perfect setting for this performance. I thought the show was beautiful and very meaningful.”


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HOLY MOLY!!! Last night was incredible!! Thank you BRISBANE!! #20yearcaptainanniversarytour #SOLDOUT

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Local stars The Jungle Giants launching their single ‘Heavy Hearted’

John Collins: “It’s always great to see a local band fire and be at the top of their game. The night I saw one of two shows, The Jungle Giants were certainly on top of their game. The punchy songs had the whole crowd moving, it’s fantastic to see a world-class artist come from your home town.”


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@thejunglegiants killing it on stage @thefortitudemusichall

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Music legend Liam Gallagher gracing the stage

John Collins: “It was a huge thrill and challenge for the venue to have a true international superstar on the Fortitude Music Hall stage.  The show was very powerful despite Liam almost in darkness and the whole room went into a frenzy when Liam performed a few of the old Oasis hits.”


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Dune Rats touring their debut album My Own Mess

John Collins: “What a pleasure to follow a young band coming up through the smaller venues and finally get the chance to play a sold-out show to 3300 people. Dune Rats have always been a fantastic fun band and this night was exactly that. Who knew it was to be the last live performance at the Fortitude Music Hall before the world pandemic hit days later?”

It’s been a huge first 12 months for the Fortitude Music Hall but there is plenty more where that came from. Check out all the incredible shows coming to The Fort at