Melbourne Loses Another Live Music Venue In The North
Following on from news of the closure of Geelong’s The Nash, Victoria’s live music scene will be taking another blow in Melbourne with news that another site will be joining the likes of Smith Street’s Blue Tile Lounge and today’s news of Pony closing its doors with a live music marathon; Thornbury will be losing their local venue.
Mess + Noise reports that after two years of operation, The Prague will be closing its doors – effective, immediately, meaning that they have “regrettably” had to “cancel all bookings and events from this point onwards,” as they write on their Facebook page.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts, that we have to make the following announcement… As of today, Monday the 22nd of October, we have been left with no other option but to close our doors… We were faced with a difficult economic climate, and did all we could to stay open for as long as possible. Sadly, our plan to see out the year didn’t work out, and those that know us, know just how hard we worked to try and achieve this, as well as the hard work offered to us by the various crew and techs making these last six months an enjoyable, however difficult, experience.
Adding, “We are very sorry for any and all inconvenience this is sure to cause, and will do our best to help out in any way possible.”
Located further North West of the busy end of High Street in Thornbury, The Prague was still a relatively new venue that regularly booked local acts, particularly heavier bands and metal groups, as well as hosting art exhibitions and local installations.
The unfortunate cancellation of all upcoming gigs and the venue’s closure is saddening news for music lovers in the north, and comes against a spate of recent venues that have closed due to similar economic pressures.
There’s a silver lining to be found for Northsiders though, with news that Brunswick’s Sydney Road is getting a new live music venue in the eccentrically named The Rare And Reclusive, Oft Neglected, Lesser Spotted Mallard (yes, really), which opened with free launch gigs over the weekend. While North Melbourne’s Public Bar - which first closed its doors at the tail-end of last year after 18 years of supporting the music scene – is being resurrected by owners of fellow live music hot spot, Fitzroy’s Old Bar, after rescuing it from the market as a potential residential development.
Re-opening last week, the venue officially begins its live program this week with gigs from the Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders on October 24, followed by Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats the following evening. Cash Savage & The Last Drinks play October 26, while the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats play October 27.
Best of all, the new live music venue’s owners are in possession of a a 15-year lease on the pub, as well as following the model of its sister bar by hosting live music from Wednesday through Sunday every week.
Ever wandered down on a Friday evening to catch a beer and some live music only to find your beloved venue has up and disappeared? We take a look over the last two years and the key events that have shaped the state of Australia's live music and its venues. Mostly for the troubles they've faced, with a large number being forced to close down. But it's not all bad news... some have managed to pull through while there's even been new venues that have sprung up. So if you've been wondering "whatever happened to my local music venue?" perhaps we've got the answer. Watch this slideshow »