Sydney’s live music scene has been struck a serious blow today with the shock news that the Annandale Hotel is going into receivership.
Attendees at a private farewell party for the iconic pub last night were told that the owners will be handing the keys back to the bank after its serious financial struggles have reached breaking point, reports FasterLouder,
This time last year, current owners Matt and Dan Rule managed a last ditch attempt to save the iconic Sydney venue in their buy-a-brick scheme, originally launched in late 2011 in an effort to erase crippling debts. After looking to sell the business for over a year, come February 2012, the Rule brothers decided to pull down the ‘For Sale’ sign after raising over $50,000 funding from their scheme managed to pump some much needed finances back into the venue.
Its struggles have included a long-standing legal battle with local council over noise complaints, and even the capture of two idiotic robbers who were caught on camera pilfering the venue; but its imminent closure still comes as a shock given that it seemed that the Annandale’s financial woes had balanced out, even coming in to bat for fellow live music venue The Sando during the pub’s own controversial closure mid-last year. Later bBeing sold to the owners of Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club for a newly appointed venue called the Newtown Social Club, a move that was apparently made by the banks without the Sando’s owner Tony Townsend’s knowledge or consent.
While the closure of the Annandale doesn’t appear to embroiled in the same controversy with the banks as The Sando was, it still marks a devastating loss to Sydney’s live music scene, which Education Minister Peter Garrett declared was in a ‘state of emergency’ last year.
Garrett, who currently holds the School Education, Early Childhood and Youth portfolio, used legendary local music venue the Annandale as a catalyst for the problems that live music venues face, getting behind the Annandale’s ‘buy-a-brick’ scheme wholeheartedly at the time, emphasising the venue’s historical importance, saying it “has long been an incubator of the music industry.”
The news of the Annandale going into receivership is poorly timed, coming just weeks before February 23rd’s annual SLAM day, where musicians and music lovers will come together in support and celebration to Save Live Australian music, with over 200 gigs already planned to fill live music venues across Australia.
The Annadale has a few more gigs lined up at the venue, including performances from Deerhoof, The Smith St Band, and Something With Numbers, but it appears that the schedule dries up from April following a visit from international hardcore headliners The Bronx, but more news and details of the pubs’ closure as it arrives.
UPDATE: a post on the Annadale’s Facebook page reads:
Just a quick note on what happened today. Matt and Dan meet with the bank today to discuss the position of the hotel. The bank are reviewing that now,
The hotel is not closed and our goal is to work with the bank to ensure that live music will continue through this period.
We will keep you updated ASAP.