No Holey Moley in Newtown!
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The recently announced plans to renovate the ex-Sandringham Hotel and the soon to be ex-Newtown Social Club premises into Holey Moley Sydney by entertainment chain Funlab is a slap in the face to creative culture in Newtown and greater Sydney.
The Newtown area is thriving with authentic and organically developed culture, not the commercially seeded, soulless 'Kulture' that Funlab is so eager to ram into the middle of this precious hub.
Further, if the local community were not already dissuaded enough by the loss of a beloved music venue there would simply not be any support for this kind of establishment in Newtown. I point to the current site of Kelly's pub, an ex-McDonalds Restaurant as an example of Newtown's disinterest in lifeless corporate chains.
A similar case may be that of The Standard, now The Standard Bowl. Not long ago 'The Standard' was a premier performance venue in Sydney, capable of hosting up to 550 punters with tiered seating, top-end production and multiple staging configurations. The venue was on a similar level to the Oxford Art Factory and played host to acts including Childish Gambino and Kirin J. Callinan. In 2014 The venue was converted into a sub-par bowling alley for local suits and 18 year-olds to get smashed on expensive cocktails in. Bands were moved onto a 'monkey-stage' in the corner and made to play token sets to a disinterested audience. Eventually the focus on live music was so little that most self respecting bands were turning down offers to play there and most people have long forgotten that bands even play there.
This cannot be allowed to happen to the Sando.
Funlab's promise that they will "continue to support" live music is hollow and holds just as much water as that of The Standard Bowl. We will see the same demise of not just quality but respect for and reimbursement of the creative talent that performs there. Either that or the best of the best of national and international acts will make way for overpaid, inauthentic cover bands.
Commercialised culture has no place in Newtown, or anywhere for that matter, and the Sando must remain true to its roots. We risk the rich historic walls of the Sando becoming simply another building to sit neglected and bastardised by a money hungry corporate chain. The Sandringham Hotel must remain a live music pub, not become another Standard Bowl.
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