When The Musics Over - FESTIVAL HALL to be no more (maybe)



Has something else happened since this news?


Festival Hall is kinda like Waverley Park. You have nostalgia attached to it because of what you saw there, but the venue itself was a piece of sh*t.

The espy, the punters, the palace… They made me sad, but not this one. I mean, I’d rather it still exist more than a friggin apartment tower, but I used to be spewing if a band I wanted to see listed the gig at Festival Hall.


Ahhhhh the old ‘rider’ excuse! Haha

Just from memory the venues that have recently come about as solid live music venues; The Reverance in Footscray, The Bendigo in Collingwood, Howler in Brunswick.

I’m sure there a handful more.


It was an amazing place to play, you’d feel like the audience was wrapped around you with the two seated areas ether side that ran down towards the stage with the GA guys at the front. The mosh pits were epic there.


The tote is still going yeah?


The Penny Black was a frequent haunt when I was living in Brunswick a few years back.

Well worth a visit.


Yep strong!
Although Inwent in there a few months ago and they we’re playing Hip-Hop. I was pretty outraged!

But I think it was nearly last drinks, and the bar staff were keen to put something on that’s not rock.


Yep, that was my local when I used to live in Brunswick


Saw Radiohead there around 1998 on the OK Computer tour (with rolled gold support from Big Heavy Stuff). The gig was on the end of about a week of 35 - 40 degC, and it was baking on the day. It was like a furnace inside and management kindly refused to open the venue doors or allow passouts. I had a river of sweat pouring down my back all night. Even Thom Yorke , not known for his between song banter, was moved to remark “Christ it’s farking hot in here innit?” Great show but i’ve avoided the place like the plague ever since.

Also, saw my first ever gig there. A mid week afternoon show for schoolkids in 1985 featuring Weddings Parties Anything (still with Dave Steel and Janine Hall), Huxton Creepers and Hoodoo Gurus. What an eye-opener for a 14 year-old…


I know nothing about the Espy, was going from Ben’s vibe…


Festering ■■■■■
Worst gig ever RHCP, on account of me being ejected. If JF hadn’t have walked out on the band a year or so earlier, they’d have played at The Palace where the original booking was for, which would’ve been unreal.

Best gig ever, Helmet supporting Beasti Boys. Took 30 seconds to convert me from punk rocker to hip hopper.

From memory, the dunnies at FH we’re from the Middle Ages, with urinals where you stand facing and poss at each other.

But Northcote Social Club and Croxton Park Hotel do alright now for us old folk. Seeing Radio Birdman and Dinosaur Jr at the end of my street have both been recent highlights.


The difference between now days to old days, is that 90%of live music venues are in the Northern or the Western Suburbs.

The old days of St.Kilda being the hub for live music is long gone. Your gonna struggle finding anything too Far East past Hawthorn. Your not really gonna get anything worthwhile until you get to the peninsula.

The North and West is where majority of Uni students are living, that’s where the demand is. Live music venues will continue to re-locate to where the students are.


Who could forget both Joeys Underbelly’s im sure @comebackdimma won’t.


Well I haven’t played there myself, but I have heard that bands enjoyed it far more than patrons.

Agree on the moshpit though. My first ever proper ‘all ages’ mosh was actually Pantera at Festival Hall. I decided after that if I could survive that, I could survive anything.


Worst gig was Garbage 1995, just after they’d “broken” They had one album’s worth of material. They played it start to finish, didn’t say one thing to the audience, and were out of there after about 38 minutes. at the time I found the $45 for a ticket that was >$1 / minute to be outrageous. but that was then, when the typical price for a gig in Melbourne was $1 / band (so say $3 at the Punters got you give or take 2.5 hours entertainment.)


Getting to FH was weird tho. No other reason to be in that neighbourhood, no similar bars nearby where you could get a few pots under your belt. No public transport nearby.

Going to the punters club used to scare the ■■■■ out of me, cutting through the housing commission flats and along Grenville st. Junkies and wastoids loitering. These days, you still need to keep your eye out, but back then it felt real sus.


As Jack Little used to say…BE THERE!!!


Train to Nth melb, beer at the Railway across the road then 5 mins walk to Festival Hall, easy.


The last show I went to at Festival Hall was the Stooges.

The legend of Iggy Pop & James Williamson speaks for itself.


Breaks my heart.
I’ve staged many a show there.
Every time I visited, I’d get up on stage and sing Love Me Do, in honour of the Beatles, left handed guitar and all.