by Richie Goodacre

Nestled on Ann Street in Fortitude Valley stands the suburb’s oldest building and a central hub for legendary and emerging musicians since 1992. A place where artists go to bare their musical souls in front of hundreds of uncaged concertgoers, that place is The Zoo.

Recognizing a dire need to provide music artists a platform, the first floor of Ann street became The Zoo. Built in the early 1920s and designed by famed Brisbane architect E.P Trewern, The Zoo was created initially as an apartment complex. However, plans changed, and its place was a large warehouse space. 

For their 30 plus years in existence, The Zoo has played host to cherished memories and some of the best acts in Australia and internationally most iconic performers, including but not limited to: Silverchair, Paul Kelly, The Black Keys, Violent Soho, Children’s entertainer Peter Coombe, and Lorde. The Zoo also holds the distinction of being one of the only venues solely booked by women in the past 29 years (Joc Curran and C Smith). 

Now co-owned by husband and wife duo Luke’ Boo’ Johnston (former tour and production manager) and Cat Clarke (former music coordinator and show manager at Melbourne’s 170 Russell) alongside Pixie Wyland. The trio is determined to continue the legacy of what is now a stalwart in Brisbane music for years to come.      


Triscari, C. (2021). Brisbane’s The Zoo welcomes ‘Boo’ Johnston and Cat Clarke as co-owners. [online] The Music Network. Available at: [Accessed 5 Oct. 2022]. 

The Music Network. (2016). Brisbane venue The Zoo has been sold. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Oct. 2022]. (n.d.). Concert History of The Zoo Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | Concert Archives. [online] Available at:–5 [Accessed 5 Oct. 2022]. 

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