Gold Coast CultureCulture? What culture? Beach Culture!
That was the cry from many Gold Coast residents during the 80s and early 90s, but things have changed. Granted there are no local stone buildings or opera houses, and most artists, dancers and musicians of critical acclaim bypass the Coast for Brisbane (which is only just up the road after all), but with a cashed up local council and a burgeoning population crying out for civic haute couture 'Gold Coast culture' is becoming less and less of an oxymoron.
Local arts organisations still love to debate how seriously the rest of the country takes the Gold Coast's cultural credentials, but you could argue that they are directly proportionate to the city's status as the sixth largest in the country. And if you still aren't sure then visit one of our galleries or live music venues to fully get a grip on the situation.
The Gold Coast may not be the epicentre for art in Australia but nobody should forget that the Coast is the spiritual home to Australia's beach lifestyle. It's long been a surfing mecca and it now has a reasonably well funded and developed arts infrastructure, a widely diverse range of cuisine, a movie industry and is bursting with creative local talent. A number of multi million dollar arts initiatives are also in development over the next decade which should see that talent nurtured.
There is no Soho, Greenwich Village or Hollywood on the Gold Coast (not counting Movie World of course) but there is a Cavill Avenue and as long as the white sand reflects the neon and nightclubs are still called Billy's Beachhouse, no one can ever argue that the Gold Coast has no culture.
Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images