Sydney venue and performance space Freda’s has today (November 2) announced it will be permanently closing its doors later this month.
Taking to Facebook, owner David Abram explained “with a heavy heart” that both a global pandemic and plans to continue operating in their current Chippendale building – amongst real estate wars – did not work in the venue’s favour.
After a solid nine years of trade, including a renovation and basement extension in 2017, Freda’s will be closing on November 21.
MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Beloved Sydney ‘small bar’ and performance space Freda’s is closing this month…
“After surviving 5 years of lock outs, red tape, rising rents and an exodus of youth from the city centre, Freda’s had finally been flourishing after receiving one of Sydney’s first 4am licences (outside the casino) since the heady days of the Olympics. We had been looking forward to by far our most successful and stable year ever. Boy were we wrong,” Abram said.
“Although we could not foresee an international pandemic, it had already become clear to us that we were not part of the long term plans for our building. The 100 year old warehouse we have inhabited, as is the way for many grassroots cultural spaces, will eventually become a memory to the high rise construction that is likely to envelop Chippendale in the next 10 years.”
“It is easy to forget in this most restrictive of times that dancing is the most human of behaviours. An opportunity to be completely free, if just for a moment. To connect with each other regardless of background, gender, or politics. If Freda’s is to be remembered as just one thing, it will be as a room for dancing.”
Freda’s will be going out with a bang, celebrating and dancing their way through a three-week Festival Of Freda’s featuring artists and friends of the venue, such as Gauci, Heavenly, Rimbombo, Vibe Positive, Pelvis and Freda’s House Band.
The full program and ticketing details are yet to be announced, but you can keep up to date with Freda’s here.
Back in September, over 60 venues in New South Wales united for Save Our Stages, a campaign targeting the Berejiklian government, in a plead to provide funding for the state’s live music industry.
Freda’s – along with Oxford Art Factory, Enmore Theatre, The Lansdowne Hotel, The Metro Theatre and more – all lent their names to the campaign, which called for a stimulus package to assist venues suffering from COVID-related hardship.
A collective open letter to the state government said: “Live music in NSW is under threat. Unless there is immediate government intervention, we risk losing 85 per cent of the state’s live music venues within the next 12 months.”
Only two weeks ago, Guy Sebastian questioned the Australian Federal Government’s $250million arts relief package – asking why only a fifth of the total amount has been spent since its commencement in June.