Good news, Sydneysiders – iconic Circular Quay live music venue The Basement has been sold, but the new owner has no plans to stop the music. Restaurateur David Wallace, owner of Circular Quay’s Opera Kitchen, is said to have purchased the venue, with all scheduled shows to go on as planned.
The Basement, which has been operating as a live music venue since 1973 – and has played host to Prince, Dizzy Gillespie and Neil Diamond – was put up for sale by previous owners Tim Read and Jane Burridge mid-last year, raising concerns that it would go the same way as many other Sydney venues, but with a 10-year lease and a 24/7 hotel licence The Basement looks like as sure a bet as any for the future of live music in our harbour city.
According to TheMusic.com.au, as part of the sale existing Basement staff, including booking manager Nicolle Lane, have been let go, with Wallace appointing Nathan Farrell as the new venue booker (after Farrell resigned from The Macquarie Hotel at the end of last month) and Joey Caruana as the new venue manager. Farrell today told TheMusic.com.au:
“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured with my new role at The Basement in the lead up to its 40th anniversary early next year. My musical vision moving forward will be with love and respect for the history of venue but also firmly giving it a new contemporary identity.
“I will be referencing some of my favourite venues booking styles from around the globe including London’s Jazzcafe and New Orleans Tipitinas which constantly juxtapose traditional acts with the cutting edge. Exciting things to come and plenty more news soon.”
The Basement has gigs from Katie Noonan, David Ryan Harris, The Hillbilly Killers and Kaki King scheduled for the upcoming months.