D Days
H Hours
M Min
until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018

Sofar so good for Dani Miller

Festival 2018
1 Dec 2017 by Katy Cunningham

Creatives from the coast, country and world are busy helping bring Festival 2018 to life. We sat down with long time local, Dani Miller who's working behind the scenes as an Associate Producer for the Festival Production Company, Jack Mortons.


'Let’s make music, make art, support each other, start projects, create festivals and open venues for no other reason than exploring new ideas and different sides of ourselves. Let’s give the Gold Coast a new reputation and be inspired by the undercurrent of the beach culture, not limited by it.'

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you involved in Festival 2018?

Well I guess my journey to Festival 2018 started with my Arts degree at Griffith Uni where I studied contemporary and applied theatre learning skills in acting, tech, stage management, writing and directing. Then, shortly after I finished studying I auditioned for an amazing Youth Theatre Company, Shake & Stir and secured a full time position as a touring actor performing shows from northern NSW right up to Cairns!

I then decided to pack up everything, sell my car and move to London where I took the opportunity to really soak up the live music scene as gigs were cheap, everywhere and every night of the week. This is where I came across Sofar Sounds secret gigs - intimate gigs in unusual spaces which actually exists in nearly 400 cities all over the world.

Jackson James-Smith

Photo: Jackson James-Smith performance at Sofar Sounds |  Shenna Heard

When my UK working visa was ending and I knew I had to return to the Gold Coast I was keen to get back into the Arts industry and focus on my career. I contacted the Sofar Sounds global team to see if I could bring this exciting project to the Gold Coast and make some things happen in the place I grew up. A few months later I connected with another local creative Mindy Davies and shortly after Sofar Gold Coast was born. Through Sofar I started to make valuable new connections and learn about the industry on the Coast. I started going to the monthly Artist Salons held at the Arts Centre Gold Coast and it was here that I heard about a Producer Professional Development internship with Festival 2018 so I applied in April and got the gig!

Only recently I have been offered a full time position as an Associate Producer and I am so excited to be given the opportunity I could cry!

What does your role as an Associate Producer entail?

I think asking what it doesn’t entail might be easier haha! It is literally anything from researching artists, acts, music, companies; to scheduling, looking for venues, getting quotes from suppliers, working on budgets; to assisting with auditions and a whole range of other things. I work with so many incredibly smart and talented strong female creative producers at Festival 2018 and I feel like pinching myself at how lucky I have been!

You are working on lots of projects and without giving too much away what excites you the most about Festival 2018?

There are so many amazing companies and artists from all over Australia and the world coming to the Gold Coast. It will seriously be an explosion of colour and excitement and I can’t wait until everything is revealed so I can finally talk about all of it! There will be circus, dance, theatre, music, visual art and everything in between but there is one site specific dance piece that I can’t wait to see take shape and I think the audience will be absolutely blown away.

As a Gold Coast local, what does it mean to you to have an international event of this size in your backyard? What do you hope the local community gains from being host to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games?

The Gold Coast has always had a strong sporting community and I think a lot of that is thanks to our amazing weather and unlimited potential for outdoor activities, from the mountains to the oceans and even waterfalls. I am so grateful for having a healthy and active lifestyle as I was growing up but I think Festival 2018 is such a great opportunity for people to be immersed in the world of arts and culture and make way for young aspiring creatives on the coast.

I have always had the view that creativity stimulates creativity and I sincerely hope when people see the immense scale of this Festival that they will feel excited and inspired by this new experience in their own backyard.

Let’s make music, make art, support each other, start projects, create festivals open venues for no other reason than to explore new ideas and different sides of ourselves. Let’s give the Gold Coast a new reputation and be inspired by the undercurrent of the beach culture and not be limited by it.

Finally, what is your favourite spot to find creative inspiration on the coast?

The Gold Coast is so many cities in one, from the interesting urban landscapes in Southport, to the bustling hub of restaurants and bars in Burleigh and then all the way down South to the cool history of a surfing/skating community in Coolangatta.

There are so many places I love to go on the coast. I get a lot of inspiration from sitting and watching the ocean on Burleigh hill in the morning, then going to one of hundreds of super cool cafes like Dust Temple in Currumbin for a coffee and then heading to places like Miami Marketta for some yummy street food and awesome local live music and dancing at night.

There are a few really interesting spaces popping up on the coast like Mo’s Desert Clubhouse for music, art and beer so let’s hope they stick around and there is support for more to open!

Dani out!