The Lansdowne Lives On: Legendary Sydney Venue Will Continue as a Gig Space

lansdowne hotel not closing

Thrillist can exclusively report that the legendary Sydney venue The Lansdowne will not be shutting at the end of the month and will continue on as a gig space.

The tragic news of the venue’s impending closure was announced in February after venue licensees Mary’s Group revealed that the premises’ owners were planning to turn the space into a hostel.

A last-minute deal however appears to be in the works to save this vital institution, one of the few remaining smaller gig spaces in the city of Sydney.

Emails viewed by Thrillist show that Oxford Art Factory boss Mark Gerber has confirmed internally that his company will be taking over the licence of The Lansdowne.

In the email to artists, Gerber tells performers that “An agreement has been reached between Oxford Art Factory and the landlords to continue presenting live music and entertainment at The Lansdowne Hotel.”

According to the email, the venue will be preserved in its current capacity and function, with plans to turn the space into a hostel appearing to have been scrapped.

Details on the licence transfer are limited, and Thrillist has reached out to multiple sources within both the Mary’s Group and the Oxford Art Factory team, none of whom have been at liberty to confirm or deny the changes.

“For now, it’s a warm welcome for you back to The Lansdowne, and we look forward to working with you to continue the fantastic legacy of this iconic and vital venue,” Gerber continues in the email.

“Long live live music and The Lansdowne Hotel,” the email finishes.

While Thrillist has been unable to confirm the details with staff in an official capacity, long-time Lansdowne regulars, The Andy Golledge Band, have shared their excitement at the prospect of the venue continuing in its current form.

“I was super bummed at the thought that it might go under,” lead singer Golledge said to Thrillist.

“I’m super pleased it’ll continue on! Lansdowne has been a staple for the Andy Golledge Band and it’ll continue to be!”

With news of the venue’s closure breaking in February, an outpouring of community grief and indignation at the loss of yet another cultural space for the city of Sydney was palpable.

The Lansdowne has been a stalwart of the Sydney music scene since the 1930s and has seen performers like Billie Eilish, Amyl and the Sniffers, Wolf Alice, and IDLES take to its sticky stages in recent years. The venue closed in 2015 but was revived by Mary’s group – the team behind Mary’s Newtown and The Unicorn in Surry Hills – in 2017.

At the time, Mary’s co-owner Jake Smyth wrote in an open letter that the team was “heartbroken to announce that our time with the beloved Lansdowne Hotel is coming to an end.”

Referring to the fact that venue owners had planned to turn the space into a hostel, Smyth said that “This was not part of our vision for The Lansdowne, and as such, we have decided to call time our custodianship of this iconic live music venue.”

While we await further details and a response from Oxford Arts Factory and Mary’s Group representatives, we can rest easy in the knowledge that this important gig space will continue to be home to emerging and established Australian and international talent.

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