Murder on the dancefloor: Lansdowne to close

The iconic venue is set to close its doors in April due to the forced closure of its Gig Room.

Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

In disappointing news that comes as no surprise in the wake of Sydney’s decimated nightlife, the Lansdowne is set to close by the end of April this year.

In an Instagram post this afternoon, Mary’s Group announced the end of their tenancy with the Lansdowne.

“We are heartbroken to announce that our time with the beloved Lansdowne Hotel is coming to an end,” the statement read.

“Our lease is due to expire in the coming months, and the Landlords have chosen to close the Gig Room to build more Hostel accommodation. This was not a part of our vision for the Lansdowne, and as such, we have decided to call time on our custodianship of this iconic live music venue.”

The statement affirms their commitment to live music and the devastation caused by this decision. “2022 was shaping up to be one of the busiest at the Lansdowne, due to the growing community of artists and punters who are passionate supporters of music, art and culture. It is deeply upsetting to call time on an icon, at the height of her powers.”

“Despite this tough announcement today, we promise to continue to build stages and create spaces for the voices of our glorious city to emerge.”

This is not the first time that the Lansdowne has faced crisis; in 2017, the venue reopened after lying dormant for two years. At the time, Honi reported that upon reopening, it was ‘without a doubt one of the best pubs in Sydney right now.’

Written in 2017, in the middle of Sydney’s infamous lockout laws, the article advised students to visit the venue ‘before Mike Baird returns to finish what he started.’ Sadly, this prophecy has come to pass. 

The Lansdowne has been home to many iconic gigs, post-election parties, and late night kick-ons as a result of their late-night trading licence. It is yet another painful loss for Sydney’s ever-shrinking nightlife scene. The venue has been host to local and international acts including Billie Eilish, Bleeding Knees Club, and Violent Soho.

Since posting the announcement on the Mary’s Live instagram, ‘The Lansdowne’ Facebook page has been renamed to ‘Mary’s Live’, and their official account @thelansdowne on instagram has been deactivated.

The communities and brands of Mary’s Group and the Lansdowne are explicitly tied to live music — an activity that has been increasingly difficult to participate in across the course of the pandemic. After being legal for just two months, dancing and singing are again banned in NSW until at least the end of February.

Mary’s Group have not yet responded to requests for comment, and it is unclear what the fate of the downstairs bar area will be. They have committed to facilitating the remaining gigs in the space until the end of April, and you can read their full statement here.

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