More concerts announced for final days of Festival Hall in West Melbourne

May 12, 2018 by  

Flyer printing businesses and graphic design firms need not throw away their typesetting templates for Festival Hall just yet.

Owners of the iconic West Melbourne venue announced its impending closure in January but upcoming concerts recently scheduled to be held there by popular acts The Wombats and Courtney Barnett in July and September could mean its final days come later rather than sooner.

Festival Hall first opened over a century ago. For most of its first few decades of operation it was best known as a boxing venue, earning it the endearing sobriquet ‘the House of Stoush’. These days, it is arguably most famous for hosting two concerts by The Beatles on their one and only tour of Australia in 1964, at the height of Beatlemania. Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, the Ramones, Oasis, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Pixies are just a few of the other acts to have played to packed houses there.

Despite protests by local music fans, Festival Hall is set to be demolished to make way for two apartment complexes. Only the building’s commanding brick wall frontage is to remain as a heritage overlay. The hall’s owners have said newer mid-sized inner city venues such as Margaret Court Arena have taken away too much of the event business to maintain Festival Hall as a sustainable operation.