John Collins Awarded for Service to Music and Community

John Collins, former bassist of the rock band Powderfinger, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours List.


Read: Relive the Magic of Led Zeppelin IV with ARC at The Fortitude Music Hall


Recognised for his “significant service to the arts through music, and to the community,” Collins is among the 737 honourees announced by Governor-General David Hurley last Sunday.

After Powderfinger disbanded in 2010, Collins embarked on a new chapter, channelling his passion for music into the live music scene by becoming a venue owner. His transition from performing on stage to fostering live music environments has cemented his influence in the Australian music industry beyond his time with the band.

Photo credit: The Fortitude Music Hall/Facebook 

The Triffid and Fortitude Valley Music Hall: Cultivating Brisbane’s Music Scene

John Collins co-owns two of Brisbane’s premier music venues: The Triffid in Newstead and The Fortitude Valley Music Hall

The Triffid, opened in 2014, is the result of a collaboration between Collins, Powderfinger’s long-time manager Paul Piticco, and Jessica Ducrou, co-founder of Secret Sounds, which oversees major festivals like Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival.

Situated in a World War II hangar, The Triffid is an 800-capacity venue that has become a beloved spot for music lovers and performers alike. The venue’s creation was driven by a desire to offer a dedicated space for live music and to support the growth of local talent.

Photo credit: The Fortitude Music Hall/Facebook 

The success of The Triffid led Collins and his partners to pursue an even more ambitious project. The Fortitude Valley Music Hall, opened in 2019, is now Australia’s largest ballroom/theatre-style venue, boasting a standing capacity of 3,000 and a seated capacity of 1,200. This state-of-the-art venue fills a significant void in Brisbane, following the demolition of the city’s Festival Hall in 2003. The Fortitude Music Hall aims to attract top-tier touring acts, enhancing the city’s appeal as a major destination for live music.

Photo credit: The Fortitude Music Hall/Facebook 

Both The Triffid and Fortitude Valley Music Hall reflect his vision of creating spaces that not only showcase live performances but also foster a sense of community. These venues have quickly become cornerstones of Brisbane’s entertainment landscape, offering diverse line-ups that appeal to a wide range of musical tastes.


Read: Fortitude Valley Poised to Become a Global Nightlife Hotspot Under New Queensland Initiative


Collins’ journey from rock star to respected venue owner highlights his adaptability and dedication to the arts. His recognition in the King’s Birthday Honours List underscores the significant impact he has had on the Australian music industry and the broader community. Through his efforts, he continues to support and promote music, ensuring that Brisbane remains a vibrant hub for artists and fans alike.

His story is one of transformation, passion, and an unwavering commitment to the arts, making his recognition as a Member of the Order of Australia well-deserved.

Published 13-June-2024 

Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane’s New ‘Festival Hall’ to Open in July 2019

Fortitude Valley, once the centre of alternative music in Brisbane, will become livelier with the soon-to-open Fortitude Music Hall.

The brand new music venue, located at 312 Brunswick Street right in the middle of the Brunswick Mall is slated to open this July.

It will be a 3,300-capacity venue with a mix of retail stores, an events space and a smaller, intimate “bar-style” venue for approximately 300 guests upstairs.



The $43 million venue is backed by construction giant Hutchinson Builders, former Powderfinger bass player John Collins and and the band’s former manager Paul Piticco, in partnership with his Secret Sounds Group co-founder Jess Ducrou.

Fortitude Music Hall’s launch will be a celebration of Brisbane music, according to Collins who announced there will be performances from Queensland’s artists.

As early as now, the venue already has bookings for the second half of 2019. Aussie surf rock and garage trio Skegss will perform in the venue this July whilst British rock band Architects will hold a concert in the music hall in August.

The Beatles’ Abbey Road Live, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic album, will also take place in the Fortitude Music Hall in August 2019.



Collins has high hopes for the new music venue, anticipating it to become a popular destination not just Friday and Saturday night but throughout the week.

The new music hall is set to replace the Brisbane Festival Hall, an iconic indoor arena sold and demolished in August 2003.

It hosted performances for virtually every major tour by visiting overseas artists, with the likes of The Beatles, The Bee Gees,  Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, U2, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Scott Hutchinson, CEO of Hutchinson Builders, believes that the venue will fill a huge gap in the market, since the demolition of the original Festival Hall.

To stay in the loop about the upcoming gigs in the new venue, check out their website or follow them on Facebook.