One of Melbourne’s most famed live music venues, late-night institution Pony, have announced that they’ll be closing their doors on December 2nd after more than 12 years of scintillating sets, rambunctious behaviour and many, many bleary-eyed morning-afters.

The news broke via The Age‘s Sticky Carpet music news section, that reports that rising rents have been the cause for the venue’s imminent closure, with Jon Perring, one of Pony’s three owners explaining: ”We are sad to see it go but it is essentially a business decision based on not being able to agree on a rental that would work for us to operate long term into the future.

Perring, who also owns famous Melbourne live music venues, The Tote, Bar Open and Yah Yah’s with business partners Andrew Portokallis and Sam Crupi, have negotiated a new lease for Pony that should bring hope to those worried that their favourite local haunt will join the live music venue graveyard.

Camillo Ippoliti, owner of Revolver in Prahran and the CBD’s Cookie and Toff In Town (with his son Daniel) has taken up the new lease, saying: “It is likely that after renovations live music will continue.” Ippolti also possesses the lease to Pony’s neighbour, Bridie O’Reilly’s but says that “I’d like to acknowledge the good work that was done in those spaces;” but that those two venues will continue to operate as separate, but complementary entities.

While it’s certainly a sad state of affairs for the Melbourne live music scene, Ippoliti’s comments suggest that Melbourne’s infamous ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of late night spots – namely the pronged set-up between Pony, Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane, the newly re-opened Ding Dong Lounge in Chinatown – would possibly continue.

Given the news, the upcoming free gig at Pony, as part of Melbourne Music Week on November 22nd, featuring Barbarion, Baptism of Uzi and recent Harvest lineup addition The Murlocs, is likely to pack out from fans wanting to treat the iconic live music venue its last drinks and last rites.

So if you’re one of the many who’s spent the better part of their youth, or AM curfews, in Lt. Collins’ beloved live music venue, it may be your last chance to head down and celebrate the best way Pony knows how – some late-night music and beer-sponsored debauchery.

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