The Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney is set to cease live music in April, with the building’s owners set to replace its band room with more hostel accommodation. As a result, Mary’s Group, who have operated the Lansdowne in partnership with the landlords over the past four-and-a-half years and been responsible for live music continuing at the venue, announced their departure yesterday.
“We are heartbroken to announce that our time with the beloved Lansdowne Hotel is coming to an end. Our lease is due to expire in the coming months, and the landlords have chosen to close the gig room to build more hostel accommodation,” wrote Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham from Mary’s in a statement yesterday. “This was not a part of our vision for the Lansdowne, and as such, we have decided to call time on our custodianship of this iconic live music venue.”
After it shuttered completely in 2015, Smyth and Graham were instrumental in the venue’s reopening and providing a space for both emerging bands to cut their teeth and play some of their first shows, as well as hosting intimate performances from more well-established bands. Smyth and Graham Outside of the Lansdowne, Smyth and Graham have expanded their Mary’s burger operation, and opened another venue – Mary’s Underground – at the former site of The Basement.
In recent years, the Lansdowne bandroom had played host to the likes of Violent Soho, Spacey Jane, Amyl and the Sniffers, Donny Benét, RVG, Private Function, Party Dozen, Ngaiire, Shining Bird and many, many more. International acts like IDLES, Wolf Alice, Charly Bliss and Girlpool also performed intimate shows in the venue’s bandroom over the past few years.
“Our re-opening of the Lansdowne in June 2017 marked a seismic shift in the live music scene in Sydney, after years of closures and devastating lockouts. The Lansdowne came to be a figurehead in the recapturing of our collective conscience, a bulwark against the tide of closures and a voice against the apathy that had snuck into the core of the conversations around our vital nighttime culture,” wrote Smyth and Graham yesterday.
“The Lansdowne showed the power of art and its deeply important role in our city and our culture. We will forever be proud of what was achieved, and will continue our role in providing stages for new and emerging voices at Mary’s Underground and in venues yet to come,” they wrote.
“2022 was shaping up to be one of the busiest at the Lansdowne, due to the growing community of artists and punters who are passionate supporters of music, art and culture. It is deeply upsetting to call time on an icon, at the height of her powers.”
In their statement, Mary’s said that it would be working with the landlords in order to facilitate the remaining shows booked at the venue until the end of April – so if you want to say goodbye to the Lansdowne in the best way possible, you’ve got two months.
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