Sydney’s historic Lansdowne Hotel shutting its doors to become music school

lansdowne_hotel-Sydney-music people re-el magazine

6 August 2015

Tags:free music search, music the music, live music, music videos

One of Sydney’s most historic live music venues, The Lansdowne Hotel, is set to shut its doors as a pub and be converted into a campus for budding musicians after being sold to the Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts.

Located on City Road, the historic Lansdowne has hosted gigs for over 80 years and been ground zero for many young bands taking their first steps into the live music circuit.

However, the venue will host its last gig on Saturday 29 August before its new music school owners begin its conversion into a recording studio and performance space facility for up to 200 AMPA students.

As this development application lodged with the City of Sydney reveals, the inner-city building will undergo “alterations for new main entry from Knox Street, new signage, accessible ramp, internal lift, fire stair, multi-purpose hall, staff toilets, practice studios, ensemble rooms and administration office.”

The irony of closing down one of Sydney’s longest running venues in order to train up musicians is not lost on Mark Gerber, the founder of one of the CBD’s last standing small venues, the Oxford Art Factory, who told ABC News:

I think if you don’t have an industry, if you don’t have a live music venue to go to, if you don’t have anywhere to actually look forward to exercising… all the knowledge that you’ve garnered from these schools, well, what’s the good of having these schools then?

Mr Gerber is not alone as the only industry voice concerned about the shrinking number of live music hotspots in Sydney, a chorus that blame the controversial lockout laws and trading restrictions introduced last year as the catalyst for the growing number of venues shutting up shop recently.

While the Lansdowne is outside the lockout zone, it’s imminent closure follows in the wake of local venues like Soho, Hugos Lounge, The Imperial Hotel all shutting down from the knock-on effects of the 1.30am lockouts and 3am ‘last drinks’ laws.

The lockout may be counterproductive in the sense that it’s dealing with the violence, but one thing that’s also suffering because of it is the culture of the city, the soul of the city,” Mr Gerber says.

AMPA have indicated that the passing of the Lansdowne’s title from former owners, Oscars Hotel Group (who count the refurbished Annandale Hotel among their venue folio), will include preserving its live music history… to some degree.

AMPA CEO Isaac Chung Lee said in a statement that the company “recognises the long history of the Lansdowne and its link with the live music scene in Sydney.”

He said they intended to retain public performances in an on-site auditorium and “continue offering opportunities for emerging and established artists to utilise the space as a performance venue.

During its 82-year-run, The Lansdowne has been home to everything from swing dancing to punk rock and indie music, while The Living End, Go-Betweens, and You Am I have all played on its sweaty stage.

In the last 12 months, Hard-Ons, The Ocean Party, The Peep Tempel, andWax Witches have all played shows there, plus the Mates mini-festivalhosted by Palms, featuring Bad//Dreems, Straight Arrows, Bloods, Hockey Dad, Richard In Your Mind and more.

Before The Lansdowne calls last drinks, you can catch final shows from Ivy, Rigasaurus, Uncle Axel, Cruisin’ Deuces. Check details at the Facebook page.

Tags:free music search, music the music, live music, music videos




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