The music room at the iconic Lansdowne Hotel in Eora/Sydney will no longer be closed, the venue team has confirmed.
In February, Mary’s Live – which had run Lansdowne’s live music operations since 2017 – announced that the owners of the building had decided to close the music room to make way for hostel-style accommodation.
They noted at the time that the decision was “not part of our vision for the Lansdowne” and as such they had “decided to call time on [their] custody” of the venue, saying the Lansdowne would cease operations as a concert venue in April.
Despite the announcement, the artists continued to announce concerts on site; by the end of July, artists like Kirin J Callinan, Big Twisty & The Funknasty, Flyying Colors and The Hunger have all booked shows for the Lansdowne. Until now, it was unconfirmed whether this meant plans to dismantle the music room had been postponed or scrapped altogether.
According to the new signaling, the answer is neither – as reported today (May 16) by Purple sneakersa brand new management team took over the Lansdowne and proudly declared that “live music is here to stay”.
As of this writing, it’s unclear who took over from the Mary’s Live team and how they convinced the venue’s owner to backtrack on their renovation plans. NME has contacted the venue and Mary’s Live for comment.
The Lansdowne Hotel, which opened in 1932, was one of Sydney’s main hotspots for live music throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s. It was finally closed in 2015, before being reopened by the Mary’s team (led by Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham) in 2017.
“2022 was shaping up to be one of the busiest [years] at the Lansdowne,” Smyth and Graham said in their February statement, noting that they “will always be proud of what has been accomplished” during their four years at the helm of the site. They assured regulars that they wouldn’t leave the live music scene, striving to “provide[e] stages for new and emerging voices at Mary’s Underground and in places to come”.
“The Lansdowne has become a figurehead in reclaiming our collective consciousness, a bulwark against the tide of closures and a voice against the apathy that had crept into the heart of conversations around our vital nightlife culture,” they said. they wrote. “The Lansdowne showed the power of art and its profoundly important role in our city and our culture.”
Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Lansdowne has served as the setting for the “Empty Room Sessions” video series. Bands to have played for it include PLANET, The Buoys and Party Dozen.
Since its reopening in 2017, notable artists to perform at Lansdowne include Amyl And The Sniffers, Girl In Red, Wolf Alice, IDLES and Billie Eilish.
In a review of Violent Soho’s performance there in February 2020, NME David James Young wrote: “You could probably guess what followed: bodies flew, manes of hair fought to the beat of Mikey Richards drums and the singing got so loud that frontman Luke Boerdam could have dropped the mic at any time and allowed the pub choir to take the reins.