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Eliza & The Delusionals (photo credit: Luke Henery)

Music stars continue to shine two years on

AAP | April 2020

Two years on from 2018 Commonwealth Games, the careers of music artists Ella Fence and Eliza Katt continue to shine thanks to Festival 2018 showcasing them.

As Australia gets used to a ‘new normal’ to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to believe it’s only been two years since the Gold Coast welcomed athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Alongside the world-class display of athleticism and sportsmanship, the Gold Coast put local culture front and centre too with Festival 2018 – twelve days of music, theatre, dance, circus, visual arts, and film.

For singer/songwriter Ella Fence and Eliza Katt, singer/guitarist with indie rock band Eliza and the Delusionals, Festival 2018 provided a significant launch pad for both of their rising music careers.

“So much has changed and happened since then, like song releases and lots of shows. It feels longer than two years, to be honest,” says Ella. “My audience – online and in real life – grew so much from this experience. Supporting Kate Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator really helped to accelerate my career. The exposure I gained through this opportunity snowballed into a myriad of other performance opportunities and the growth of my loyal, beloved fan base.”

Eliza, who founded her band in 2015 agrees with Ella.

“From where the band was at, at that time, we’ve been through a lot. It does feel like a bit of a lifetime ago for us,” admits Eliza. “We had a fairly strong following around the Gold Coast at that time, as that’s where we’d always be doing our shows, but I think it would have expanded it to more of an all-ages audience as most of the venues on the Gold Coast are 18+.”

“It gave us a really cool opportunity to play with some of our favourite bands on a great stage,” adds Eliza who supported Jungle Giants during the Festival.

Ella and Eliza both agree Festival 2018 was a great initiative.

“What I probably loved most was the initiative Festival 2018 had to draw in International artists and couple them with local artists. It was obvious that the organisers had that at the forefront of their decision making and that is so admirable,” says Ella.

“It was a great way to bring in a big music festival opportunity around a large event. It was really special,” adds Eliza.

The Gold Coast, in general, are very supportive of the local music industry.

“I’m so lucky to have grown up on the Gold Coast, there’s a real ‘have a go’ attitude that people really embrace, and while you’re a developing artist that is a real privilege,” says Ella. “Venues like Burleigh Brewing Company, Cambus Wallace and Scottish Prince really take artists under their wing, to have them perform and help elevate their careers.”

“This year I decided to go fulltime with my music and these three venues had no hesitation to book me regularly,” she adds. “GC Music Awards and Grants like RADF Activate Music are also an incredible testament to the Gold Coast’s commitment to the live music scene.”

Eliza, who founded her band in northern New South Wales but now calls Gold Coast home, couldn’t agree more.

“It’s great to see the Gold Coast get even more supportive as the years go on. More festivals happening, the Gold Coast Music Awards. It’s really cool,” she says.

***This feature has been produced in collaboration with City of Gold Coast.

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