Every Melburnian has a memory at Festival Hall, for me it was seeing The Veronicas and Violent Soho perform there. The famous gig venue has also played host to many other greats like Rage Against the Machine, Mac DeMarco and even The Beatles. So why the fuck did they sell it to the bloody Hillsong Church???
Hillsong Church is an ultra-conservative church whose views on hot button social issues are very icky. In 2015, Hillsong founder Brian Houston wrote in a blog post that yes he loves gay people, but he does not support a “gay lifestyle” or marriage.
A surprising amount of celebs attend Hillsong, including: Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas and of course, our PM Scott Morrison.
“Iconic Melbourne music venue Festival Hall has been sold to the Hillsong church.”
— alex (@VLXCAT) October 25, 2020
Hillsong, the ultra-conservative megachurch that includes Chris Pratt and Justin Bieber among its followers, has bought Melbourne’s Festival Hall.
Hasn’t Melbourne suffered enough?
— The Albert Santos, in cinemas now (@albertinho) October 25, 2020
Hillsong buying Festival Hall seems like par for the course for this year. How do we know that they haven’t bought it so Scott Morrison can debut his rock project and open for Gang Of Youths next time they play there?
— Ben Madden (@benmaddenwriter) October 25, 2020
In a video posted on the church’s YouTube channel earlier today, Brian Houston said they purchased the venue under the banner of Community Venues Pty Ltd.
“You need some good news in Victoria, don’t you?” he said.
“By god’s grace we’ve been able to purchase festival hall.
“And it is going to become the city location for Hillsong in Melbourne.”
No Brian when we said we wanted some good news in Victoria, we meant eased restrictions, not this! Oh god, please not this!
Later in the video, state pastors Tim and Nicola Douglass said that the venue would continue to host live entertainment events, but that it would be the “house of God” on Sundays.
“It has served the people of this city in different events over the years, and it’s going to continue to do that. We just get to be the church who purchases it,” Tim Douglass said.
“This journey of purchasing this incredible facility started about 18 months ago. Just happened to hear about that it was for sale and started enquiring, thinking that it was a long shot.
“Now, we’re sitting in a miracle. God can make a way even through impossible circumstances.”
In 2018, the director at the time Chris Wren said that the venue was no longer profitable to run. There were plans to sell the site to be demolished and replaced with 16-storey apartment blocks.
However, those plans were squashed when Festival Hall received a Victorian heritage listing.
Although, some people actually wish it got bulldozed, instead of being purchased by the church.
Careful what you wish for. I wanted Festival Hall saved from developers. Now I wish they’d just demolished it. https://t.co/wWZr59WKYP
— Glenn Patton (@livinthing) October 25, 2020