The Hi-Fi woes – and the plight of music

The broader picture of the ongoing battle of live music emerges as The Hi-Fi venues go to market with high hopes.

Living End at Hi-Fi
Living End at Hi-Fi

Administrators, Melbourne accountants Romanis Cant, has worked hard with multiple creditors, after an unresolvable debt with one put the operators of the three music venues into administration.

Romanis Cant’s Simon Nelson told PubTIC that while the causes of the failure had yet to be identified, he was working closely with management and the Director and had garnered key support from stakeholders to maintain each venue as a going concern pending a sale.

“We are continuing to trade, as we prepare for the sale,” said Nelson.

“Fortunately, we have the support of key staff, landlords, the primary secured creditors and other key stakeholders so as to ensure the businesses will continue as normal and the maximise the outcome from the sale process.

“We have had a significant amount of interest, with the properties now listed in the Financial Review.

“We are highly confident of a sale within the month.”

PubTIC understands that the creditor that forced the hand of the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane music venues has invested over $5 million into the businesses over a number of years, but that others including banks and the tax department are waiting in line too.

Recent years have seen too many live music venues around the country stumble, seeming to fail due to shifting demographics that steal market, local resident resistance, or Council regulation-shifting.

Thankfully, a leaner, smarter version of the music venue is often taking the place of the late-night ear-splitting band caves of yesteryear, with the likes of Oscar’s Hotel’s re-invented Annandale Hotel enjoying a broader mix of revenue streams that encompass family attractions and even day-trade.

The concept of live music in pubs has probably been around nearly as long as bawdy wenches and steins of beer. While the suburban hotel may no longer be the best choice for high-volume rock n’ roll and long-haired adolescents dressed in all black, these music meccas will never die out completely.

5-clydeLike so many things in the ever-changing world of the hospitality, good music is in the ear of the listener. Listen to the audience and many a forgotten stage could be a hit.


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