Dance ’til you’re dead: Lansdowne Saved

The Oxford Art Factory team is set to take over operations for the venue while maintaining its iconic gig room.

Photo by Thomas Sargeant

Local institution The Lansdowne Hotel is set to continue its legacy under the stewardship of the Oxford Art Factory team — gig room intact. The OAF team has come to an agreement with the building’s landlords to save the space from becoming hostel rooms.

In February of this year, the building’s current tenants, Mary’s Group, announced that the venue was set to close by the end of April.

“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,” wrote the Mary’s Group team on an Instagram post.

“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.” 

News of its continued operations comes in the wake of recent rumours regarding the venue’s closure status; despite gigs being set to end in April, they have continued into May unimpeded by demolition works. In recent days, the venue has also displayed a sign reading ‘NEW MANAGEMENT – LIVE MUSIC IS HERE TO STAY’.

OAF CEO and Founder Mark Gerber said in a statement: “Oxford Art Factory can confirm the rumours. We are pleased to announce that we have agreed with the owners to put aside any plans that could see the demise of this iconic venue of Sydney and Australia’s live music and arts scene.

“Music and Art can never die. They make us stronger and live longer! Sydney doesn’t need to lose any more live music venues; it has suffered enough. The lockout laws and Covid-19 have severely impacted a once flourishing and vibrant nightlife, and I wasn’t going to let yet another music venue fall by the wayside, not on my watch!”

This is not the first time that the Lansdowne has been saved from near-demise. Mary’s Group took over management of the venue and reopened it in 2017 after it lay dormant for two years.  Previously, Honi wrote that it’s been “a haven for musicians, students and other characters within the Chippendale area” since 1933.

Gerber’s statement also affirms the importance of continuing to support the Australian arts scene. “Lansdowne has played a hugely important role in the careers of many of our greatest music stars who have conquered the world. The Lansdowne is rejuvenated and continues to give voice to emerging and established artists and musicians.”

Cheers to live music in Sydney, and to a third life for the Lansdowne — Honi will see you there.

Filed under: