The Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch says the band will no longer play Melbourne’s Festival Hall after Hillsong acquisition

The Christian megachurch bought the venue for over $23million AUD

The Amity Affliction lead vocalist Joel Birch has said that the band will no longer play Melbourne’s Festival Hall, after the venue was sold to Hillsong Church.

As reported over the weekend, the iconic Melbourne venue has been bought out by the Christian megachurch for just over $23million AUD.

While representatives for Hillsong say the venue will still play host to live music, on Sundays, it will become “the house of God.”


In response to the news, Birch said he doesn’t want any money from Amity Affliction shows going to Hillsong, meaning they will no longer be playing shows at Festival Hall.

The band last played the venue in 2017, on their nationwide tour in support of their 2016 album ‘This Could Be Heartbreak’.

Birch also revealed that this isn’t the only Melbourne venue the band refuse to play, saying they won’t play shows at Margaret Court Arena until the venue changes their name (the namesake tennis player has come under fire for a string of homophobic comments).

Following the news of the sale, ex-employees of the venue, including event co-ordinator Tanya Gleeson, shared their dismay on social media.


“This week is my last week at Festival Hall with no future employment,” Gleeson tweeted yesterday (October 25).

“I have known about the sale for quite some time and I must admit today it feels real and sad. Thanks for the memories.”

Since opening over a century ago, the venue has hosted legendary acts like The BeatlesBob DylanNeil YoungThe StrokesRage Against the Machine and Smashing Pumpkins.