Music Australia News

Pub Choir Initiative Expands Nationally

Image Credit: Jacob Morrison
Scarlett Di Maio
| March 14, 2018

Last July we reported about Pub Choir, a new community choir in Brisbane drawing regular 300+ crowds after only a few sessions. If you are familiar with our program Music: Count Us In, you will know that here at Music Australia, we strongly advocate for song to be used as a tool for unification, so we’re thrilled to hear the Pub Choir initiative is expanding nationally.

Music belongs to everyone and the Pub Choir initiative is on a mission to prove it. The premise is simple – go to the pub, buy a beer, join some strangers, learn a song in a 3 part harmony in 90 minutes, then perform it twice. No auditions, no solos, no commitments, no sheet music.

After humble beginnings at Loft Bar, West End of Brisbane, Pub Choir recently held an event on the Sunshine Coast, marking its first event outside Brisbane. The group learnt Paul Kelly’s ‘Dumb Things’ and drew hundreds of participants.

Pub Choir Director and Creator Astrid Jorgensen told ABC News last week that the event was a test run for the concept to expand beyond south-east Queensland, with dates locked in for Hobart and discussions underway for the event to be held in Melbourne.

“We’ve been getting messages from all around the country, people asking us if we can come to their communities … even messages from Egypt and Dubai.” Ms Jorgensen said.

“So I think it’s going to expand even further after this.”

For many participants of Pub Choir, it’s their first time singing in public. Participants begin by choosing a range in which they feel comfortable and then learn their part by ear, by repeating Jorgensen, who guides the group through the process. Jorgensen is also joined by Pub Choir team members Waveney Yasso on guitar, MC Meg Bartholomew, photographer Jacob Morrison and videographers Paris Own and Jacob Sosnowski.

The initiative has already had significant positive impacts on local communities, helping people combat loneliness and build up self-esteem.

“So many people come to Pub Choir events and tell us stories of how they were told they were bad by a teacher in grade two or they were told to mime in the choir,” Ms Jorgensen told ABC News.

“A lot of people don’t even drink at Pub Choir, it just feels like a safe environment to be a little bit rowdy and to miss a note is not going to be a big deal.” Ms Jorgensen said.

Pub Choir have also started documenting the inspiring results in a new video series on Youtube.

If you would like to learn more about Pub Choir or get involved, head to here.

Stay in the loop

Music Australia updates straight to your inbox

Follow Like
Quick Links


  • National clearing house for policy & development

  • Music Journal

    Features articles about the Music Industry Sector

  • Music Talks

    Series of seminars exploring music