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Blues on a train

Chris Fisher and Abby Smith Fisher talk about the development of Destination Blues, a Queensland musical steam train experience.

Destination Blues is Queensland's own musical, steam train experience. A steam train adventure that takes passengers (return) from Roma Street to the Glass House Mountains on one of Queensland Rail's historic steam trains while serenaded by a hand-picked selection of Brisbane's great musicians. 

Customers are generally music lovers, however many people come for the great day out. This is a Facebook review from one of our recent customers:

“What a journey! Thanks for putting on such a wonderful experience. A majestic ride, original and talented musicians and fellow passengers who got involved and thoroughly enjoyed the music! I will definitely be recommending Destination Blues to all my friends!”

We book a wide variety of South East Queensland musicians, many placed by our music partner Bluebeard Music. Our musicians are not all traditionally/singularly blues focused. Destination Blues likes to maintain a contemporary perspective on the blues theme, offering gigs to musicians from related genres (folk, roots, soul).  Musicians we choose are always keen to return - it is a different style of gig, where performance is equally important as musical integrity. You are very up-close and personal with your audience. 

Our success is based on our genuine intent to provide interesting and different events and products for South East Queensland.  It is personally satisfying to offer musicians more gigs and a viable commercial product that contributes to the continued feasibility of running Queensland’s heritage rail fleet and of course contributing to Brisbane’s rapidly evolving lifestyle culture. 

The QR volunteers have been extremely supportive of Destination Blues. They understand the commercial imperative around their beloved steam trains and how Destination Blues contributes. They are the heart and soul of QR heritage Fleet, and an absolutely essential part of Destination Blues and we love them dearly.

Destination Blues' maiden voyage was in June 2015. We have hosted to date, six journeys and aim to add 10 trips to this total in the next 12 - 18 months. Each trip hosts approximately 300 passengers entertained by 9 musicians/bands. In total we have entertained approximately 1800 people and supported more than 50 paid spots for local bands and musicians. 

Our advice to other creative business:

 “Dedicated creatives work extremely hard for invaluable creative outcomes, yet they are often underpaid. In our experience if you pay up as agreed & on time, it will come back to you in spades.”



Photo of Chris Fisher and Abby Smith FisherChris Fisher & Abby Smith-Fisher Co - Directors of Cardigan Nation Pty Ltd a creative company developing interesting business projects that satisfy Chris & Abby’s ambition and curiosity. In the past 5 years they have delivered...

- Generations Cafe - A local cafe in the ever progressive North Brisbane suburbs of Sandgate/Brighton & after 5 years continues to grow (now sold)
- The Garden Gate - a social business/garden centre for the local community centre (handed over in March 2015)
- The Cardigan Bar - A laneway bar/music venue - commonly listed in Brisbane's top 10 suburban bars 
- Destination Blues - Queensland's own musical steam train experience - fast becoming a must in the Brisbane lifestyle calendar. 





Feature image: Steam Train from the journey. Photo: Martin Grounsell.

Profile image: Chris and Abby owner operators of Destination Blues and the Cardigan Bar.  Photo: Style Tribe