Iconic St Kilda live music venue The Espy will cease hosting live music for “a few months” while it shuts down for renovations.
Reports circulating online suggesting that Melbourne’s beloved Esplanade Hotel would be shutting up shop effective 17th May, have been confirmed by Deputy Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Serge Thomann, this morning, who says the venue will be closing its doors in just “a couple of weeks”.
“As I have been asked several times, and as people are concerned, yes the Espy is closing but only for renovations in a couple of weeks,” Thomann said in a statement this morning.
“When it’ll reopen, it will still be a place with lots of music and bands but also more food offering. The Espy is in desperate need of a bit of a face lift. The main issue is that the whole place has strict heritage protections, outside but also inside.
“Council will help the Espy going through this process so it can reopen as soon as possible. It is a major refurbishment and it will take a few months. But we will have a beautiful new Espy at the end… Good luck boys.”
A venue spokesperson told Music Feeds this morning that staff had not yet been briefed on the situation. There’s no word yet whether upcoming gigs will be cancelled.
The venue’s publicity representative told Music Feeds this morning, “We are trying our best to keep everyone in the loop without having the facts ourselves.”
It’s understood an official statement from the venue will be released later today, which the publicity rep said “will put everyone at ease”.
Live music fans have already expressed concern that the venue could be destined for a similar fate as Sydney’s iconic Annandale Hotel, which scaled back its live music commitments in favour of a bigger focus on food and beverage services, after similarly shutting down for renovations, back in 2013.
“The Annandale in Sydney also ‘closed for renos’. When they reopened it was the most ghastly polished-up gastro-pub…going from having bands play every night to only hosting sit-down trios playing semi-acoustic, 3 nights a week,” one fan posted to Facebook.
The Espy, Australia’s longest-running venue with continuous live music, has been up for sale since February of last year.
We’ll keep you updated with more details as they develop.
UPDATE 04/05/15, 4.46pm: The Espy has released a statement confirming the venue’s closure for renovations but has affirmed that music will remain a “central” part of The Espy’s identity when it re-opens.
Watch: Icehouse – Crazy Live At The Espy
Going through our archives, we found this gem.Blast from the past – Icehouse- Crazy- live at The Espy – Happy Sunday!
Posted by The Espy on Saturday, April 18, 2015