After nine years of operation, beloved Sydney venue Freda’s is closing up shop this month, ending its chapter as a pillar of Sydney cultural scene on November 21.
Owners announced the impending closure in an emotional post today, citing the city’s high rise development plans as the looming force in their decision.
“After surviving 5 years of lockouts, red tape, rising rents and an exodus of youth from the city centre, Freda’s had finally been flourishing after receiving one of Sydney’s first 4am licences (outside the casino) since the heady days of the Olympics. We had been looking forward to by far our most successful and stable year ever. Boy were we wrong,” writes owner David Abram in today’s statement.
“Although we could not foresee an international pandemic, it had already become clear to us that we were not part of the long term plans for our building. The 100-year-old warehouse we have inhabited, as is the way for many grassroots cultural spaces, will eventually become a memory to the high rise construction that is likely to envelop Chippendale in the next 10 years.
“But if it is to only become a memory, then at least it is of the deep, visceral and transcendent, as opposed to stale and flavourless. Of good times, expression, freedom, connection, music, performance, art and most importantly dancing! It is easy to forget in this most restrictive of times that dancing is the most human of behaviours. An opportunity to be completely free, if just for a moment. To connect with each other regardless of background, gender, or politics. If Freda’s is to be remembered as just one thing, it will be as a room for dancing.”
Over its tenure, Freda’s has provided a platform to many an emerging artist, its 2017 basement art space expansion often hosting debut shows for artists presenting their work to an audience for the first time.
“As immensely proud we are to have showcased so much incredible music and talent, a stage is nothing without an audience. And what a beautiful audience you have been. We have been so lucky that this dark room down a back alley in sleepy Chippendale drew such an alive, engaged and diverse audience. No agro, no fighting, no ego, just love,” adds Abram.
“While we are saying goodbye to a beloved space, this isn’t goodbye forever. When one door closes, another one opens. We will see you again soon.”
True to form, Freda’s will go out in celebration, saying farewell with a three-week-long ‘Festival of Freda’s’ featuring favourite themed nights and artists.
Head to the venue’s official website for the lineup, schedule and with ticket information.