Sydney CBD live music venue The Basement has confirmed its closure, saying the venue “no longer works” for them.
News of the looming closure broke last week, but management remained tight-lipped on the issue, failing to respond to Business Insider’s request for comment amid rumours that the city’s oldest licensed live music venue was being kicked out by landlord AMP Capital.
On Tuesday evening, The Basement used Facebook to confirm its end, but did not offer clarity on when, beyond hinting it was imminent. Industry insiders say the last gig was on Easter Saturday and Thursday, April 5, is the final day of operation.
“To be clear, the current premises no longer works for The Basement,” the post says.
The Basement’s Facebook page continues to advertise upcoming gigs over the coming months, with links through to the venue’s ticketseller, Moshtix. The post says “all ticket holders will be contacted by Moshtix in the next few days for refunds or information on moved shows”.
The venue’s management say “we were touched by the outpouring of support from artists, patrons and the general public” after news of its demise broke and are now looking for a new site to continue the tradition.
AMP Capital told Business Insider last week that it was disappointed the decade-long collaboration was ending, saying they’d spent six months working with the venue’s management “to ensure an appropriate transition could take place” after they mutually agreed to end the lease.
AMP said there was “absolutely no intention to convert The Basement into office space”, but it was too soon to say whether another music operator, bar or restaurant would take over the site.
The Basement’s similarly worded statement on Facebook says “AMP Capital has not kicked us out, but rather supported us during this change”, adding that the landlord “continued to work with us over the past week to explore options for us to stay in the current space while we look at possible alternative venues”.
Restaurateur David Wallace, owner of Opera Kitchen, bought the music venue in 2013 in a partnership with lawyers Andrew and Dominique Robinson.
The Basement established its reputation as a jazz venue after first opening in Bulletin Place in May 1972 before moving to the current adjacent location 20 years later.
Musical greats such as Herbie Hancock and Dizzie Gillepsie have played the intimate, 600-person venue, as well as Neil Diamond and Prince.
Here’s The Basement’s full Facebook message:
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