It’s been a very troubled year for iconic Sydney pub, the Annandale Hotel.
Following Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne and local supporters of live music fitting to uphold the pub’s legacy as a live music venue as it went into the hands of new operators, the pub then suffered the indignity of cancelling shows after robbers ransacked the venue earlier this month.
Now it has been revealed that a number of shows scheduled at the Annandale have been moved to alternate venues after it was announced that the pub would be “temporarily” closing in a matter of days for a nearly two-week stretch, as SFMedia reports.
A statement from the venue issued to bands with gigs at the venue reads:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Annandale Hotel will be temporarily closed from Monday September 2, Unscheduled building works associated with the development next to the hotel have left the venue with no choice but to close until September 16, when the new operators will take control of operations.”
Newcastle’s The Delta Lions were due to play the venue tomorrow night (Friday 30th August), but were told the show could no longer go ahead due to health and safety issues, as TheMusic reports. As the four-piece told their fans on Facebook of the “pretty shitty news,” the show has now been moved to the Bald Faced Stag; “It’s not ideal, especially considering the coin we’ve poured into promoting for The Annandale,” they write.
Melbourne favourites (and #ampgate survivors) The Smith Street Band are also booked for this weekend, for a Saturday night headline slot and Sunday afternoon show, but told TheMusic they were unaware of any changes to their scheduled shows.
Meanwhile, the temporary closure of the Annadale from the 2nd to the 16th September also affects Adelaide rockers The Beards’ World Beard Show on Saturday 7th September. The band’s entire bill, including Jackson Firebird, The Stiffys, Manchoir, and Atlas B Salvesan, has been moved to the Manning Bar for the same date with all tickets already purchased valid for the new venue. The next scheduled show is for The Snowdroppers on September 20th. Shows scheduled at the Annandale have been moved to alternate venues after it was announced that the pub would be “temporarily” closing in a matter of days for a nearly two-week stretch.
Though the venue was sold to the Oscars Hotels group in May, who bought the venue after it controversially went into receivership in February, they have yet to take full control as the new operators of the Annandale, with receivers Ferriers Hodgson handling the venue until Oscars takes over after the temporary closure, on 20th September, promising to continue live music at the venue.
Leichhardt May Darcy Byrne added today that if Oscars continue music until the end of the year it would be “just in time for the Parramatta Road live music zone to come into effect and give them a financial incentive to keep going.” Referencing his and fellow Sydney councils‘ unanimously passing on motions to form and develop a live music precinct that runs along Parramatta Road, from Petersham to Sydney University, with Annandale forming the crux of the cultural hub.
Oscars’ intentions to continue to host live music at the Annandale also sated the wishes of former owners, Matt and Dan Rule. “After a recent meeting with the new owners of The Annandale, The Oscars Group, we are very happy to announce that they wish to keep live music in place!” the Rule brothers wrote in a Facebook post in June. “Oscars are very eager to continue with the same music strategy and are looking forward to the shows that are booked from when they take over in August.”
The Rule brothers’ blessing marked the end of a sad, ongoing financial saga that had dogged the Annandale, including 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, that eventually saw them handing the keys over to receivers amongst enormous debts.
Fans, musicians, and politicians alike banded together to save the music venue, with Mayor Byrne spearheading a campaign to pressure 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,” Byrne noted of the “mighty victory” in May.