It’s curtains for yet another live music venue in Melbourne today, this time though it’s not a long established site but a fresh-faced entrant being forced to close its doors.

In a shock announcement over Facebook, band booker Paris Martine aksed “Is it offensive when your venue is closing down and along with it your hopes and dreams and venue bookers you barely know write to you and say ‘sorry your venue is closing. If you need somewhere to place your shows give me a call.’ Sadly, getting bookings in Melbourne these days is a bit like this…”

The venue in question is the recently refurbished Phoenix Public House in Brunswick’s Sydney Road. Though it rose from the proverbial ashes (re-fashioned from its original location as The Spot) late last year, its tenure has been tragically cut short.

No specifics have emerged yet why they were forced to close their doors but Martine, who helped with the start-up and re-launch of the venue as a booker and business partner, went on to reply to comments that “Phoenix PH will close forever on June 12. All shows between now and then have been personally guaranteed by my company so that we can keep the doors open & not let the bands or the public down.”

Though it had begun the year hosting a diverse range of both emerging local talent like Brous and Last Dinosaurs, to tastemaking cult acts including The Twerps and Lost Animal; Melbourne must now say goodbye to its newest music venue.

The closure of Phoenix Public House puts another notch on the gravestone of Melbourne’s live music scene, previous victims include the recent closure of East Brunswick Club following its Laneway Festival sideshows, as well as both The Arthouse and The Public Bar in the last year. Adding to that, is the bleak future of The Prince Bandroom in St Kilda since it was sold to a restaurant group.

It’s a distressing pattern nation-wide too, with Sydney’s recently departed Abercrombie Hotel and Canberra’s The Greenroom. The last two years have also seen Brisbane losing The Troubadour, plus Tone Bar and the Gaelic in Sydney.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine