Mushroom’s Guide to BIGSOUND

Navigating Brisbane music extravaganza BIGSOUND can be a daunting proposition for the uninitiated, with more than 150 of this country’s best and brightest performing across 15 stages over two nights. And with industry panels, back-to-back parties and unofficial gigs on top of that, you’re gonna need a solid game plan to get through the week in one piece.

That’s where we come in: we’ve assembled a foolproof survival checklist to guide you through those late nights and painful mornings. It’s all soundtracked by a playlist of all the Mushroom acts performing at BIGSOUND 2015 (you can find a full playing schedule here).

And don’t forget there’s still time to get on the guestlist for our massive free party at The Flying Cock tonight, featuring performances by Stonefield, Slum Sociable, Gordi, Mossy and I OH YOU DJs! Sign up here!

Check out Gordi’s playlist of her must-see BIGSOUND acts here.

You’re going to need a morning punch in the face. Luckily, Reverends Coffee pours a great cup and it’s a stone’s throw from the venue you stumbled out of only a few hours ago. Bakery Lane (above) is also in crawling distance. It’s an artisanal laneway with a mixture of coffee, baked goods and European feels. Checkout The Tree House equipped with lush fernery and tree-stump stools. If you’d prefer to distance yourself from last night’s doings, King Arthur cafe is a short walk outside the confines of the BIGSOUND “block-party” and it’s an airy, lax kind of spot with a side of chill.

It’s midday, you’ve got a conference, it’s too early for a beer, we’ll meet you at Fatboys (Ric’s). For five (measly) dollars, you get two fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato and fat toast – it’s a goddamn steal. For something a little fresher, like some gorgeous smashed avo, Pablo serve a mean brunch full of hearty options and eggs (any way) to cure all.

Ben’s Burgers is the granddaddy of all burger joints. Double, triple, extra cheese, whatever you need, you got it. Order the BB Special with candied bacon and try to pretend like you didn’t cry. They also do a mean chilli cheese fries and of course, a chocolate thickshake because… health. If you’re feeling particularly shattered but want to maintain the “professional-business-trip” charade, The Flying Cock (above) provides a more manageable experience ie enjoy a chicken BLT in an upmarket-pub scene with volumes of natural sunlight and a fruity cocktail in tight clutch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, nestled at the end of a somewhat grimy CBD alleyway sits Brew Café and Wine Bar, which transforms from a cosy café during the day into a lounge-bar come nightfall. They stir a killer Bloody Mary and serve breakfast tacos – if that’s the wrong kind of healthcare, then you don’t want to be right.

BIGSOUND giving you a bit of cabin fever? If you get a couple of hours to loosen the shackles and escape the industry buzz, head south to the greener pastures of New Farm. Simply (cheaply) take a nap at the park or mosey around Powerhouse – an ultra-cool arts centre overlooking the Brisbane River. Sip a cocktail while you chill on the balcony and mentally re-shift the furniture which was rearranged last night. Or to fully remove yourself from the Valley, hit up Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, a Paddington institute and saloon which somehow feels nostalgic of an era which you definitely didn’t grow up in. Strange.

BIGSOUND is all about the networks and when you need to impress, you need deliver. Hit up Gordita Bar & Restaurant, a classy establishment serving killer cocktails and Southern Spanish specialities. Another stylish destination is Gerard’s Bistro (above), with an extensive wine list and menu items designed to share and talk about. For a venue that’ll impress your mates (new or old) Alfred and Constance packs some heat. It’s a tiki bar, lounge room, dining area and café all under the same roof behind the one white picket fence. They serve a fresh breaky, sling cocktails and flips burgers in the evening.

“I’m here for a good time, not a long time, mate.” WRONG. Long days equal long nights and luckily there’s late evening slash early morning (tough-pop/soft-punk) eats that you can man-handle while you strategically plan your next move. Suitably-named and recently-opened Longtime is vogue-ing right now and serves up South East Asian treats until late. For a more traditional late night pick-me-up, Alfredo’s Pizzeria pumps out wood-fired pizzas until 1am (weeknights). Get a slice (if you’ve got commitment issues) or a full disc (if you know whus good) and you’ll be having a good, long time.

The Foundry

Music mecca The Foundry (above) has quickly cemented itself as Brisbane’s ultimate cultural hub. The double-story complex involves a band room, bar and beer garden as well as a record store and recording studio. It’s a gamechanger.  Tym Guitars is also a local jam. A guitar shop, record store and skate outlet all in one. You’ll probably even catch the Soho dudes hanging out. Also check out A Love Supreme, which curates a tight selection of records ranging from jazz to hip hop and all of the funk in between. It’s where you’ll find some re-issued beauties alongside recent bangers.

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