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News October 8, 2018

Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion to remain a concert venue, multi million renovations announced

Senior Journalist, B2B
Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion to remain a concert venue, multi million renovations announced
Image by Peter Sharp

After months of speculation and uncertainty, Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion will remain a concert venue.

Its operator Playbill Venues, which successfully won the tender again, announced a multi-million dollar revitalisation, set to begin next May.

Aside from music, it will expand its entertainment and events offerings.

“Our vision is to create a multipurpose space with the versatility to host a wider variety of events and performance options including concerts large and small, theatre and entertainment, exhibitions, functions and launches,” said Playbill Venues managing director Michael Nebenzahl.

The Sydney Swans AFL team will use the adjacent Royal Hall of Industries for its headquarters and a community centre after the club outgrew its nearby SCG offices.

Playbill Venues and the Swans have gone into a joint venture called the PlayOn Group.

Key features of the Hordern revamp includes:

  • A new forecourt plaza providing a lively outdoor event space
  • Adaptable, versatile auditorium configurations
  • Improved amenities and facilities
  • New state-of-the-art seating system
  • Upgraded foyer and venue entry
  • Dedicated outdoor performance area, which will connect to the Moore Park light-rail stop, creating an entrance to the Entertainment Quarter.

Nebenzahl called it a victory for Australia’s live entertainment scene.

“We’ve seen many venues close their doors in recent years, so we’re thrilled to have this opportunity, in partnership with the Sydney Swans, to protect the future of the Hordern,” he said.

“As custodians of the Hordern for the past 18 years, Playbill Venues understand this building is an essential part of Sydney’s social and cultural fabric.

“The Hordern is an iconic venue, where fans recall their first gig with enthusiasm and Australian performers have always aspired to play.”

“Playbill Venues is investing $10 million in a significant capital works upgrade to protect the Hordern and enhance its role as a premier live music and entertainment venue.”

The NSW state government has committed $20 million as its contribution to the revamp of the two heritage buildings.

Playbill Venues is part of the Australian-owned Playbill Group which set up in 1958 and operates in ten countries

The Hordern Pavilion opened in 1924 and named in honour of the retail Hordern family, Anthony Hordern and Sons, and Sir Samuel Hordern, who was the president of the Royal Agricultural Society from 1915 to 1941.

It has hosted some of the most popular rock names including Paul McCartney & Wings, Bob Marley, INXS, Jimmy Barnes, Metallica, Hilltop Hoods, AC/DC, Nick Cave, Elton John, Coldplay, Sherbet, Lou Reed, The Eagles, Skyhooks, The Strokes, N.E.R.D, Alanis Morissette and Bjork.

It also staged festivals like Big Day Out, Afterlife, We Love Sounds, Raggamuffin, Mardi Gras Music, Trance Energy, Breakout, Fresh Party, Twice In A Blue Moon, Imagine Irresponsathon, NeverEverLand and Freedom.

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