Following this morning’s report that the Sydney’s Annandale Hotel was close to being sold to a “prospective publican” according to Knight Frank Real Estate, Leichhardt Council have now announced that the Annandale Hotel “has been saved.”

The positive news for the legendary live music venue arrives via a post on the official Leichhardt Council website noting that “music fans across Sydney can breathe a sigh of relief with today’s news that the Annandale hotel is set to remain an entertainment venue.”

“Leichhardt Council has today received confirmation from the agent responsible for the sale of the hotel that it is set to be sold to a publican, not a residential developer,” reads the statement from Council.

“Saving the Annandale, Sydney’s most iconic live music venue, is a mighty victory for music lovers across Sydney,” said Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne, who had placed pressure on receivers Ferrier Hodgson to ensure the venue fell into the hands of those looking to continue its legacy as a central part of Sydney’s live music scene.

“I am proud that we have fought to keep the doors of the Annandale hotel open and we have prevailed,” added the Mayor, saying the news vindicated his and his council constituent’s ongoing campaign to end the prosecution of live music venues in the area, and would ensure they could move ahead with plans to create a live entertainment precinct along Parrammatta Road, with the Annandale forming the geographical crux“I am proud that we have fought to keep the doors of the Annandale hotel open and we have prevailed.” – Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne

“This victory must be the turning point for Sydney’s struggling live music scene. We will now accelerate our campaign to transform Parramatta Road into Sydney’s first live music zone,” said Mayor Byrne. “The thousands of young people who have joined this campaign have put live music on the political agenda. I am calling on music lovers across Sydney to join our fight to save live music in this city before it is too late.

The purchase of the live music institution stirred controversy overnight when conflicting media reports had suggested that the venue had not gone to a publican, but instead had already been sold off to a residential developer.

Amid fears that the Annandale would be sold to a buyer who had no interest in continuing the hotel as a live music venue, yesterday The Daily Telegraph reported that the Annandale was already sold to a developer, but today representatives from Knight Frank Real Estate told The Guardian that “the information which is in the Daily Telegraph is incorrect… It hasn’t been sold and it will most likely remain in entertainment when it is.”

“The hotel is close to being sold but the information in the press is wrong. The prospective purchaser is a publican,”  the commercial agent’s Director of Hotels, Mike Wheatley, has told TheMusic this morning.

The Annandale went into receivership in February, and receivers Ferrier Hodgson have been seeking buyers since it was put up for public sale last month by Knight Frank Real Estate as an “iconic entertainment pub” in a “growth area”. Former owners Matt and Dan Rule were forced into a nasty eight year long legal battle with Leichhardt Municipal Council over late-night trading and noise complaints, and spiralling legal costs “in excess of 200K” according to Matt Rule in a fiery tirade, eventually saw them handing the keys over to receivers amongst enormous debts. “This victory must be the turning point for Sydney’s struggling live music scene…” – Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne

Today’s victory however, with council trumpeting that the live music venue “has been saved,” follows Mayor Byrne’s support that “any change of use at the venue will require consent from the council and I’m determined that it will be continued as a live music venue, rather than housing or anything else,” as he told TheMusic today.

“To save the hotel is a huge triumph for music lovers in Sydney and the transformation of Parramatta Road into a live music precinct will provide huge incentives for the hotel to remain an iconic live music venue,” he added. “Any purchaser who shares our vision will have my full support.”

Both Mayor Byrne’s Leichhardt council and the bordering Marrickville council have unanimously passed resolutions supporting the foundation and development of a live music precinct that runs along Parramatta Road, from Petersham to Sydney University, with Annandale forming the crux of the cultural hub.

The move for a live music precinct was spearheaded by Mayor Byrne after securing a ‘Good Neighbour Policy’ for the Annandale hotel following concerns over the persecution of live music by local councils as well as the municipal struggles that venues face over noise complaints and red tape.

“I want potential investors to know that the reign of the fun police has come to an end. There’s a new regime at Leichhardt Council and we’re on the verge of creating Sydney’s first live music precinct,” said Mayor Darcy Byrne. “We want music not Meriton, rock-and-roll not residential flats… The money men who have taken over the pub will be focused on profit. I want people to know that with Parramatta Road set be rezoned for live music a concert venue will be the most profitable use of this site.”

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