Arts & culture,
Creative arts & culture
Meet Gus Irwin: Electrician to event extraordinaire
Maggie Gray | May 13, 2021
From a young age, creativity has been in Gus Irwin’s blood.
Born and raised in Cairns, Gus first got a taste for the arts when he picked up a guitar at the age of twelve.
With an entrepreneurial spirit and an ambition for turning ideas into a reality, Gus finished school and soon partnered with a close friend to begin running events in Cairns.
“I’m an electrician by trade, but I’ve always worked on events on the side. I’ve been playing music since I was twelve and began DJing at 18. So, over the course of my life, I’ve been exposed to music events of all shapes and sizes,” says Gus.
Gus’s passion for the arts has enabled him to connect with creatives from all around the world, and bring global music festivals to life.
To date, Gus has worked on festivals including Ultra Music Festival in Sydney and Melbourne, The Grass Is Greener Festival in Cairns and New Zealand’s 121 Festival.
Gus’s most recent venture, Gold Coast arts and culture events company – ‘This Is Art’, was born out of a dusty sunset conversation at Burning Man in 2018.
“Nothing quite like the Nevada desert to evoke the purest of pipe dreams,” laughs Gus.
The newly formed events company – This Is Art, is all about providing unique spaces and experiences for artists and creatives in all senses to thrive.
“This Is Art’s concept is similar to the essence of Burning Man,” explains Gus.
“Its’s about creative connection and a mutual love of experience. The idea of combining elements of art, film, lighting and music into a sensory showcase where the focal point is on human creativity.
“I’ve always been fascinated by art and seeing it portrayed in so many different ways at Burning Man was the catalyst to try and bring it all together and do our own unique version of it in Australia.”
Now a Gold Coast local, Gus is on a mission to bring as much art and music to the Gold Coast as he can.
“There are two reasons why I wanted to bring This Is Art to the Gold Coast,” tells Gus.
“Firstly, there’s a thriving arts scene on the Gold Coast, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent.
“When looking to collaborate with local artists – I’m spoilt for choice here. The more I look around, the more high-quality creatives I find.”
“Secondly, there is an appetite from locals for something that’s different and alternative.
“We’re so lucky here – the Gold Coast has all the perks of a big city, without living in a big city.
“We have this enviable lifestyle – beaches, hinterland, a thriving creative scene – and we aren’t stifled by a concrete jungle. The Gold Coast is extremely liveable, and larger cities just can’t compete with that.”
When asked what guests can expect at the next This Is Art event – the answer is put simply: “Expect the unexpected.”
“We work hard to curate each event differently. The venue, music, and everything in between is all tailored to suit the aesthetic of the artists.
“The idea is to use unconventional spaces that aren’t normally used for those sorts of things and bring them to life.
“Every day, we are working on engaging more artists and collaborating with more venues. It’s really exciting for the city.
“Every single one of This Is Art’s events will be completely different – so come on down and check it out for yourself.”
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