Venue Crisis Deepens: Sydney’s Sando In Receivership
News posted Tuesday, July 10 2012 at 02:00 PM.
Related: Sandringham Hotel, Sando.
The fate of another iconic Sydney venue hangs in the balance, with Newtown’s Sandringham Hotel going into receivership yesterday.
According to an SMH report the venue has been placed in the hands of insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson with a debt to Bankwest of $3.6 million. It was put on the market in November by owner Tony Townsend, who brought live music back to the 127-year-old pub in 2005.
“They didn't even call me, they just walked in. No warning, no nothing,” Townsend, a longtime music industry promoter, manager and agent, told The SMH. “It's sad - it's sad for live music, it's sad for me personally it's sad for my family. This was supposed to be not only a legacy for us but, I guess, our income in retirement. And that whole dream's gone.”
It’ll be business as usual for the time being least, with a representative from Ferrier Hodgson considering the “best options for taking the business to market”. Meanwhile, owners have thanked patrons via a statement posted on the Sando’s blog. They said they remain hopeful of a “happy solution” presenting itself.
“We want to thank every one of the people who have passed through our doors over the time we’ve had the pub. It has been our intention all along to inject a bit of the ’80s music ethos of the Sando back into the Newtown area and we hope we’ve gone a little way towards doing that and also towards giving a home to so many incredibly talented musicians from both Australia and overseas.”
Pay to play
While immortalised (if that is indeed the correct word) in a couple of Whitlams songs, The Sandringham has come under fire in the past for a “pay to play” policy, requiring bands to reach particular crowd quotas or face paying a flat production fee.
Defending the quota at the time, Townsend said that bands who failed to draw a sufficient number of punters were contributing to the demise of Sydney’s live music scene.
“The attitude that bands do not have a responsibility to draw crowds when they play in a live venue is the reason why the live music scene has been in trouble for some years now,” he told M+N. “It’s the reason why The Hopetoun and venues like it are shut. If you can't do the numbers, don't do live gigs, or latch onto a [crowd] drawing band to help build your following.”