The extraordinary floods that have swamped Brisbane have caused untold damage to some key live music venues and forced the cancellation of several shows.
In recent weeks, U2, Jay-Z and Bon Jovi have performed to big crowds at the Suncorp Stadium. Today, the venue was caught in the disaster zone. Aerial footage of the AEG-Ogden managed stadium revealed the pitch was chest-high in floodwater.
Suncorp Stadium is situated in the central suburb of Milton. Across the swollen Brisbane River is the Southbank complex and Convention Centre, both of which took on water. The current run of the “Wicked” musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre has been cancelled. The nearby Hi-Fi venue in West End is in one of the city’s particularly troubled spots; a spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion pulled their gig at the Zoo, a live venue in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley district.
Meanwhile, organizers of the Big Day Out today pledged $20,000 for Queensland’s flood-relief efforts. The Gold Coast leg of the national fest is currently “in good condition,” a spokesperson says, and plans are to go ahead with the Jan. 23 show as planned.
The Gold Coast, however, hasn’t faced anything like the downpours and devastation which today turned the capital into something resembling a scene from a disaster movie. Central Brisbane’s typically bustling streets were turned into canals as thousands were evacuated from low-lying areas.
More than 170,000 people in the greater Brisbane area were without power on Wednesday night, including this reporter.
Residents are braced for worse to come, and authorities expect the death toll, currently at 13, to rise.