Melbourne’s Rainbow House Club is fighting an uphill battle with neighbours and council to be able to extend its trading hours and we honestly expected better from residents of the area.
The iconic queer-friendly bar and club on Smith Street in Fitzroy submitted an application to Yarra City Council to extend its weekend operating hours til 5am, but the decision was referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) after council failed to decide in the time required.
But gentrification manifest because the fun police are apparently in Fitzroy — a busy and vibrant suburb that is basically an extension of Melburne’s CBD, known for its restaurants, bars, clubs, many of which are open late.
It’s also a heartland of Melbourne’s LGBTQIA+ community and drag scene. At the weekend Yarra City Council hosted Midsumma Festival events that took over Smith Street and other parts of Fitzroy and Collingwood.
Speaking at the VCAT hearing on Monday objectors to the extended license told the tribunal that residents were “tortured” with noise. Fuck, spare a thought for the refugees in the Park Hotel just down the road, would you?
The Herald Sun reported that one resident who represented a group of 17 locals said the ongoing disruptions to residents’ sleep had affected their mental health and ability to work and study.
She blamed the loud bass (!!!) and “wolf whistling during drag shows”. Sorry babe have you never been to a single queer club night in your life????
Meanwhile these tormented residents’ property values are going up hundreds of dollars a day in one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs. Like why did you want to live there in the first place? Could it be the thriving culture?
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The club operates Wednesday to Sunday, 3pm to 1am, but received approval from council on January 18 to push close time back to 2am Thursday to Saturday. The club’s outdoor areas close at midnight.
But the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) said the rules had not been followed and resulted in two years of complaints from locals. Ingram also said patrons had been known to vomit and urinate on the street and won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children???
They also said there were plenty of other clubs in the area that were open late so Rainbow House doesn’t need to extend its hours ‘cos people can just walk across the road to the Peel Hotel (open til 7am on weekends) or literally 70 metres down the street to Yah Yah’s (open til 5am on weekends) …
I – Ok. Pretty sure that if you can “feel the bass music” in your “bedroom” from Rainbow House chances are might also get a bit of noise from the other late-night establishments on the block. This is a seriously acute case of NIMBYitis.
The council also submitted there were “issues” with patrons moving between Rainbow House and the Peel which both “cater to the LGBTQIA+ community”.
Rainbow House is expected to address council at Tuesday night’s meeting.