Exclusive: Work to begin on INXS museum in Ballina as part of larger entertainment & tech hub
Work will shortly begin on the long-mooted INXS museum in the regional NSW town of Ballina, the band’s creative manager Christopher M. Murphy told TMN.
The museum will be part of a larger three-acre complex that Murphy will operate in a series of buildings which spell INXS.
The main X building will have thousands of INXS memorabilia which he began collecting after he took over management of the band in the late ‘70s.
There are 10,000 photos and interactive displays.
The feature will be the Wembley Room in which holograms recreate their legendary appearance at Wembley Stadium in London before 72,000 fans on July 13, 1991.
There will be two other separate lots near Ballina Airport which will be part of Ballina Shire’s Innovation and Enterprise Precinct.
These will be run by other entrepreneurs, one of them an independent film studio.
The NSW state government this week gave Ballina Shire Council a grant of $3.95 million to start on the 40 ha. precinct, with more funding to follow.
The X building will also serve as a hub and incubator for music, film, design, fashion, tech and sustainable agriculture companies.
Murphy has invited companies from around the country to set up in the buildings, and been approached about the possibility of hosting exhibitions and performances.
Ballina is part of the Northern Rivers region, which has been growing as a creative hub for the past ten years.
The X building will also include spaces where local musicians can write songs and cut demos.
Many creative companies in Sydney are expanding their operations to the area’s more relaxed lifestyle.
Ballina is an hour’s flight away.
Murphy’s Petrol Group, which runs Petrol Records and Publishing, and INXS’s various projects, was one of these
Murphy recounts, “I moved my office up here from Sydney some years ago, 90% of my work is done internationally so I basically just need a computer.”
Looking at the vacant spaces around Ballina, he approached the local council and got an immediate response, as well as from the NSW government.
“The idea pressed all the buttons important to them – regional development, cultural growth, employment and tourism.”
“There was a need to have attractions which would draw international and national tourists to the region, and to further ensure people would stop in Ballina rather than head off straight to Byron Bay.”
The INXS complex will cost “up to $25 million” and is set to open in late 2020.
It is expected that Petrol’s equity partner Universal Music Group will be involved in the museum and hub.
In August 2016, the two companies struck a partnership to work on Petrol projects, including new audio releases from INXS, as well as projects including additional films, theatrical productions, live events and fan conventions.