Another Australian live music venue is in jeopardy with Sydney’s Sandringham Hotel, aka The Sando, being forced into receivership due to debts reportedly amounting to $3.6 million. According to Faster Louder, Sandringham Hotel owner Tony Townsend had been trying to re-finance the venue for sometime via different methods, including an unsuccessful attempt to sell the hotel and then lease it back.
Townsend, who has owned The Sando for the past seven years, told the Sydney Morning Herald that losing the live venue will effect he and his family both professionally and personally.
“It’s sad – it’s sad for live music, it’s sad for me personally, it’s sad for my family… This was supposed to be not only a legacy for us but, I guess, our income in retirement. And that whole dream’s gone,” Townsend said.
“We’ve taken it from one or two shows a week to quite proudly 120 bands a month,” he said. “We’re only small but we’re I guess the biggest little rock venue in Sydney,” he said.
The Newtown venue, which has been a part of King Street for over 100 years, is now controlled by insolvency specialists Ferrier Hodgson. Morgan Kelly of Ferrier Hodgson said The Sando will continue to operate as a live music venue for the foreseeable future, although the current economic climate is seeing the hotel market struggle in certain sectors.
“I will be conducting an urgent assessment of operations and considering the best options for taking the business to market,” Mr Kelly said.
“We’ll have a better understanding of the market’s appetite for this asset in coming weeks,” he said.
No matter the future of The Sandringham Hotel, it will forever live on after being immortalised by Tim Freedman, who wrote two songs inspired by the venue, Love This City – God Drinks at the Sando and Blow Up the Pokies, the latter of which, according to Townsend, was penned after The Sando’s previous owner replaced the stage with poker machines.