Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ABC Online article on Hopetoun

Sydney fans hit the web as venue closes

By Emma Swift

Posted 9 hours 8 minutes ago
Updated 6 hours 2 minutes ago

The Hopetoun Hotel in Sydney which closed its doors on 28 Sep 2009

Thousands of bands have graced the stage of the Hopetoun Hotel. (ABC: Emma Swift)

Sydney music fans are reeling after one of the city's most loved venues closed its doors.

A note was left last night for patrons of the Hopetoun Hotel in Surry Hills, saying the venue would be shut until further notice.

No official reason has been given for the closure, but an online campaign has already begun to see the pub re-opened.

Music fan Matthew Vierboom started a "Save the Hopetoun Hotel" group on the social networking Facebook yesterday.

So far, more than 3,000 fans of the venue have signed up.

"Almost everybody in Sydney who goes out and sees live music will have definitely seen a show at the Hopetoun," he said.

"It's just a Sydney music community reacting to the unfortunate news of something like this happening and wanting to do something about it."

The popular live music venue has been a staple of the Sydney independent music scene for years, with bands performing seven nights a week.

Discussion groups online have cited licensing laws, including a demand that the hotel have two security guards on the door at all times, and financial problems as the reason behind the closure.

Dave Rennick plays in Sydney band Dappled Cities who have toured nationally and internationally and had their most recent album featured as Triple J's album of the week.

They got their first break playing on the Hopetoun's stage.

"You have to start somewhere and when you're a band like Dappled Cities, it really is about forging your way through the community...and that is exactly the path that the Hopetoun is on," he said.

He says he doubts the band would have become a success without the support of the hotel.

"It's a beacon of light really, it signifies opportunity for young bands to play in front of people who matter."

The host of Triple J's 'Home and Hosed' Australian music program, Dom Alessio has been watching bands develop their sound at the Hopetoun for years.

"The Hopetoun Hotel really did fill this great market where you could go on a Monday or Tuesday night and see a band who had never played live before who were getting their first break... but then go on the weekend and see an international touring act."

As well as joining social networking groups, fans of the venue have also begun petitioning Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

They are calling on the City of Sydney Council to show its commitment to the arts by helping the hotel overcome any breaches of licencing laws.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/29/2699194.htm

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