Melbourne’s Festival Hall to host live shows again

Festival Hall closed its doors to the Victorian in 2018 after its former owners, the Mythosazai family (operating under the name Stadiums Pty Ltd), sought planning approval to redevelop the site as apartments, retail and office space. It was granted permanent protection by the Heritage Council.

Gone are the 'chicken wires' between the seats and floors in Festival Hall, the white ceiling was painted black, and a new sound system was installed as part of the venue's upgrade.

Gone are the ‘chicken wires’ between the seats and floors in Festival Hall, the white ceiling was painted black, and a new sound system was installed as part of the venue’s upgrade.credit: wayne taylor

The Heritage Council has recognized the building as a Victorian Heritage site. The building is “the only major venue specifically built to physically present the long-term history of the sport of boxing and wrestling in the state.” Cultural heritage protection was also granted, partly because the venue is associated with live music.

The original building, known as West Melbourne Stadium, was built in 1913 and taken over by the famous bookmaker John Wren in 1915. In 2018, former Planning Minister Richard Wynn said that heritage protection “guarantees Melbourne’s famous heartbeat”. That way, memories of Lionel Rose, The Beatles, and other famous moments at Festival Hall will be preserved.

“While we are determined to improve when it comes to accessibility, there are limits to what we can do in terms of heritage and building structures,” Field said this week.

“The backstage area has been upgraded for the artists and a new sound system has also been installed.

“It’s unique in that way because it doesn’t have a foyer. Given the events around the venue and the growth of Dudley Street, we need to work with the City of Melbourne to ensure better arrivals and departures.” . ”

Mayor Sally Cap, whose favorite concert at the venue was Crowded House in 1987, said: “It’s heartening to see Festival Hall return to Melbourne’s enviable line-up of venues.” .

“We are world-renowned for the live music industry, which is a huge driver of the nighttime economy…and it’s time for me to get back there,” Cr Capp said.

Festival Hall has played live music since the early 1960s, including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Shirley Bassey, Joe Cocker, Foo Fighters, Lily Allen, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Australian bands Easybeats, INXS, Living End has been held regularly. .

The Beatles on stage at Melbourne's Festival Hall in 1964.

The Beatles on stage at Melbourne’s Festival Hall in 1964.credit: John Lamb

The event, which reopens the venue on Thursday night as the industry’s only performance space, will feature music from an Australian rock collective, including members of Powderfinger, Jet and You Am I, who performed the same 59 years ago. The set list played by the Beatles on stage is reproduced. .

ARC bassist Mark Wilson said they had both attended the same Radiohead show at Festival Hall in 1998, four years before he met guitarist Davey Lane.

“About six years after that concert, I was headlining here with Jet and Davey was in the[You Am I]support band,” Wilson said. “I mean, this is a special place…and we’re back again.”

Lane said he had seen footage of The Beatles in Festival Hall “dozens of times”, but in 1964, “I was there with the band at the opening of ‘Jet’ in the same spot where John Lennon was standing.” I forgot myself that I was decorating it.”

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Live Nation manages four other venues in Australia, including Marvel Stadium and Palais Theater in Melbourne, and owns Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane and Henry Street Music Hall in Adelaide.

Upcoming shows at the Festival Hall include Indian rapper Divine’s Virginia Tour on July 1st and British rock band Idols on July 26th.

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