by the partae
Pictured: Cat Clarke, Boo Johnston & Pixie Weynard (Credit: Luke Henery)

Brisbane’s iconic and beloved live music venue, The Zoo has welcomed a new owner partnership between Pixie Weyand and husband and wife team, Luke ‘Boo’ Johnston and Cat Clarke.

Pixie Weyand, owner of The Zoo since 2016, has seen the venue experience a turbulent time in the past 12 months, says that despite this, the future of The Zoo looks great.

“I’m looking forward and moving past a really difficult year towards a bright future, with a strong team surrounding the venue. My focus is and always has been around the longevity of live music within The Zoo and doing whatever it takes to make sure it remains an integral part of Brisbane and the broader Australian live music scene. I am excited to be able to share the journey of The Zoo, giving it long term stability, along with the opportunity to grow, evolve and move into a new phase full of life and live music,” says Pixie.

Of the new partnership Cat and Boo said: “We are delighted to become co-owners of one of Brisbane’s most celebrated live music venues and very excited to be working with Pixie and The Zoo crew. The Zoo holds a special place in many Brisbane hearts, and we are dedicated to keeping The Zoo alive and well for all that love her. The venue has undergone a difficult time and we are encouraged to find ourselves in a position, with the assistance of a partnership, where we can provide stability and ensure that the iconic venue continues to thrive in Brisbane’s vibrant live music scene.” 

As one of Australia’s longest-running live music venues, The Zoo will next year celebrate 30 years of hosting some of the world’s most famous acts, including The Pixies, Silverchair, The Black Keys, and Mogwai (to name a few) as well as being a regular performance venue for local emerging artists. With this significant milestone approaching, the venue will look to expand its events and make improvements for its patrons, with the hope of The Zoo being embraced not only as a live music venue, but as an inclusive community bar space.

The new partnership will allow for a gradual revamp of the venue in 2021, with upgrades including the long-awaited installation of air conditioning throughout, the extension of the current liquor license to 3:00 am to allow punters to kick back and enjoy the space after a show, and a much-needed refurb of restroom facilities.

Pictured: Bugs @ The Zoo (Credit: Will Johnstone)

Luke ‘Boo’ Johnston has been a mainstay on the Australian touring circuit since 2004. Learning the ropes around Sydney pubs, Luke has built his knowledge base and reputation to the point where he has become a trusted tour and production manager for some of the world’s biggest bands and touring companies both in Australia and overseas. Last year Boo launched his own touring services company Road Agent Touring Services, which he will continue to run alongside the new partnership.

With over 15 years experience in the industry, Cat Clarke recently moved on from her role as National Publicist at Cooking Vinyl Australia, and previously held positions at Riot House Publicity and as music coordinator & show manager at renowned Melbourne live music venue, 170 Russell. With this wealth of experience, Cat will be looking after communications and marketing for The Zoo moving forward.

In addition to owning and operating The Zoo for the past 4 years, Pixie Weyand has been a booking agent, scouting emerging artists, including her first signing of Tones & I. Working alongside a variety of industry professionals has given Pixie a deep understanding of the music industry, recently jumping on board as Head of A&R at Disrupt Music Group. Pixie will continue in her role as a booker for the venue.

Pixie, Cat, & Boo collectively bring a driving force and fresh vision for the future of The Zoo and foresee their new partnership as a strong and exciting endeavour. We look forward to seeing what this new partnership will bring to the future of The Zoo and Fortitude Valley’s music scene.


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