Longstanding live music venue Selina’s at the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney is set to be demolished if an $111 million redevelopment plan for the hotel is approved by council.
As The Daily Telegraph reports, the hotel’s owner Chris Cheung acknowledged the venue’s long history and significance but said the club has not been used as a “regular concert venue” since 2009, and that there is “no room for Selina’s” in future plans for the hotel.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Selina’s was a frequent stop for rock acts, earning renown as a premier live music institution. Over the years, the club has hosted performances from the likes of David Bowie, Nirvana, INXS, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, the Foo Fighters, Powderfinger, L7, Cosmic Psychos, The Killers and more. Shows have sporadically occurred at the venue as recently as June of this year, when Hockey Dad performed at the club.
“Unfortunately it’s coming to an end but I’m sure there’ll be another take on Selina’s down the track,” Cheung told the Telegraph. “Presently, Selina’s doesn’t have a place in the new development. We just need to move with the times and new legislations.”
Cheung specifically cited “legislations like alcohol harm minimisation” echoing comments he made when the venue was forced to close in 2015. “If you want business, you want numbers, but more numbers with live music, means more adrenalin and drinks which can lead to problems — those days are gone,” Cheung said at the time. “There’s no mosh pits anymore — we have to put safety first.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, Hodooo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner fondly remembered the venue, expressing sadness at the demolition of a venue that bridged the gap between small pub and large arena settings. “Between concert halls and small clubs there was that whole middle tier of large rooms you could play and, you know, bands including the Oils and the Gurus were the places that we used to really promote ourselves and people used to come and see us.”
According to the Telegraph, the new development plans include 60 residential units above the hotel premises along with a supermarket, hotel accommodation, basement parking and new restaurants.