In what’s being touted as a big win for live music, one of Sydney’s most iconic venues — the Hordern Pavilion — is in for an upgrade, to the tune of up to $65 million.
Leaseholder Playbill Venues is teaming up with the Sydney Swans to “preserve and enhance” the Moore Park venue and neighbouring Royal Hall of Industries (which will serve as the AFL club’s new HQ), with works to include the construction of “a new outdoor entertainment space between the two heritage buildings”.
The project will also see the Hordern’s amenities and facilities upgraded, with a new “state-of-the-art seating system” and pimped-out “foyer and venue entry” part of the planned works.
Playbill Venues Managing Director Michael Nebenzahl is talking up the announcement as a victory for Australia’s live entertainment scene.
“We’ve seen many venues close their doors in recent years, so we’re thrilled to have this opportunity, in partnership with the Sydney Swans, to protect the future of the Hordern,” he says.
“As custodians of the Hordern for the past 18 years, Playbill Venues understand this building is an essential part of Sydney’s social and cultural fabric. The Hordern is an iconic venue, where fans recall their first gig with enthusiasm and Australian performers have always aspired to play.”
He continues: “Playbill Venues is investing $10 million in a significant capital works upgrade to protect the Hordern and enhance its role as a premier live music and entertainment venue.
“Our vision is to create a multipurpose space with the versatility to host a wider variety of events and performance options including concerts large and small, theatre and entertainment, exhibitions, functions and launches.”
Concerns were raised over the Hordern’s future last year amid reports the Swans would be moving in, with Sydney Mayor Clover Moore launching a petition out of fear that the state government would “[take] a sledgehammer to [the] key venue with their plans to commercialise Moore Park”.
Luckily, it appears as if the Hordern Pavilion will survive the city’s cultural wrecking ball for the foreseeable future.
Great job everyone!