The absolute last thing Sydney needs right now is yet another live music venue closure, let alone the closure of one that can casually hold 5,500 people. But remarkably, there’s chatter that the future of the city’s ever-present and iconic Hordern Pavilion is under threat thanks to the NSW Government’s on-going Moore Park redevelopment. Lord Mayor Clover Moore, however, is having none of it.
The historic Pavilion has been the subject of some speculation in recent times, with both the Sydney Swans and Sydney Roosters reportedly considering the site as the home of new offices and administration bases. The lease on the venue is up in 2021, and the NSW Government has entered into an agreement with current leaseholders Playbill Venues to enter tender for control of the site. The Centennial and Moore Park Trust will subsequently decide the fate of the Pavilion after that tender process is complete.
This puts the future of the Hordern as a live music and events space in more than a spot of jeopardy, and Moore has today launched a campaign aimed at pressuring the NSW Government to ensure the venue’s operation as a gig space.
Moore launched a signature campaign earlier today, pointing out the gaping hole in Sydney’s live venue space that a disappearing Hordern would leave; the city has no mid-sized venues that bridge the gap between the Enmore Theatre and arena-sized venues, and has, in recent times, played host to the likes of Simple Minds, Selena Gomez, Chet Faker, Culture Club, Migos, Demi Lovato, Megadeth, Childish Gambino, Chet Faker, and Flume. Over the summer, the venue is scheduled to host Liam Gallagher, LCD Soundsystem, Rise Against, Macklemore, and others.
The venue also has a long association with the Mardi Gras, and has played host to a range of non-musical events such as boxing matches, spring fashion week launches, and the AFL Draft.
Moore’s statement on her website asserts:
The Hordern Pavilion is a one of a kind venue in Sydney – and it’s under threat.
The Australian Financial Review has confirmed rumours the iconic venue (and the Royal Hall of Industries) is up for tender. Beyond 2021 – just four years away – its future as a live music venue is uncertain, and could be turned into offices for sports teams. This would be tragic.
While we know the NSW Government has sent out the tender, the next steps aren’t clear. The Hordern has a long association with Mardi Gras, and so many performers – groups too big for the Enmore Theatre, but wouldn’t fill an arena – would stop visiting Sydney.
Sydney absolutely cannot lose the Hordern, particularly in a time where the city’s live music industry is suffering enough as is.
If you feel like it, pop your signature down over on Clover Moore’s Hordern Pavilion campaign page.
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Image: Getty Images / Don Arnold