First it was Sydney’s The Basement being put up for public sale, and now it’s Brisbane’s turn…

The Music Network reports that a landmark of the local live music scene, The Tivoli in Fortitude Valley, will go on auction on the 12th July.

Brought to fruition as a budding live music venue in the 90s after a major restructuring by its owners, the O’Rourke family, its sale is part of a grander scheme of the O’Rourkes to break up the family business and distribute the wealth of its various assets and properties.

Tivoli managing director John O’Rourke told The Music Network: “That’s the only reason [for the sale],” while confirming it was a “fantastic venue, a fantastic business.”

Though its origins stretch back to its beginnings as a bakery in 1917, it wasn’t until many decades later that the theatre-comce-restaurant was given a facelift into the reliable music venue it is today. Its space holds a potential crowd of 1,500 standing or 700 seated, and stands as one of the few 1,000+ capacity venues still operating in Brisbane. At least it was…

O’Rourke is confident it will remain that way, even under a new guise and owner, “I can’t see it being anything besides [a live venue]… so I can’t see that being changed. I’d be surprised if it was,” he assured The Music Network.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, because otherwise it falls to the likes of The Zoo and The Hi Fi to uphold Brisbane’s live music community with their larger rooms and accessible locations.

It’s a worrying state of affairs for the live music scene in Australia. The news of The Tivoli’s impending sale has a familiar ring to it after last week’s report of Sydney’s The Basement being put up for public sale. It’s a grim climate for Australia’s live music scene, with the last 12 months seeing the closure of The Abercrombie Hotel’s doors after a suspicious fire, the passing of The Gaelic, as well as Tone Bar shutting down last August.

It’s a distressing pattern nation-wide too, with Melbourne being the primary victim, following the recent closure of Phoenix Public House (after only six months) and the East Brunswick Club following its Laneway Festival sideshows; as well as both The Arthouse and The Public Bar in the last year. Along with the closure of Canberra’s The Greenroom and Brisbane losing The Troubadour.

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