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Live Music Venue To Close After Missing Out On Government Funding

Date of News: 2013-08-21
Source: bigpondmusic

[Source:]  A live music venue in South Australia that’s home to the SA Folk Federation is being forced to close its doors at the end of August after failing to attain $60,000 in government funding needed to ensure its survival, as the City North Messenger reports.

Guthries, located at the Prospect Town Hall, has hosted live music since January 2012 and is home to the Folk Federation of South Australia, who hosts many gigs and performance opportunities for local artists.

However, financial struggles in running the space have encroached on organisers, who applied for $60k in State Government funding last December; they missed out on the grant however, and despite the Prospect Council waiving their rental costs for the last six months, the Folk Federation’s chairman Barrie Davis concedes its time to face the music.

“After losing the $60,000 of funding we have been trying to find funding to keep our doors open but we haven’t been successful in doing that,” said Mr Davis. ”It was no longer practicable or sensible, so Guthries itself had to close… It is now financially impossible for us to run another full-time venue in Adelaide like Guthries.”

A notice on the Folk Federation’s website says that since their debut concert in February 2012, Guthries has hosted more than 100 concerts as well as dances and workshops from artists from interstate, overseas, and locally as well as “a variety of community groups with a combined membership numbering in the thousands – as well as keeping the Prospect Town Hall available for community groups and individuals to hire.”

Despite the closure of their home and live music venue, Davis says that “the Folk Federation is still alive and kicking and will continue to bring music, dance and the related folk arts to venues around Adelaide… where yet, we do not know,” he added. ”It is likely we will go to various venues on a regular basis rather than having a home base.”

Its not the first time the music group has had to up sticks and relocate; in January 2012 they lost their home at Adelaide’s Thebarton after it was sold by the West Torrens Council.

The SA Folk Federation then moved to the suburb of Prospect, where local council waved a $5,000 licence hire fee last April to allow the group to continue Guthries at the Town Hall until June. Prospect Mayor David O’Loughlin said that the closure of Guthries was a “tremendously disappointing” outcome for the area.

Mr Davis says that being forced out of yet another council space has changed the federation’s working operations, saying that the 150 members are not in “big trouble,” just yet. “What we’ve done is stop operating a cost centre that’s not making money,” explains the chairman. ”The Folk Federation has been freed up to do different things like take folk concerts to regional communities and centres.”

The news follows what has been a difficult year of flux for Adelaide’s live music scene under pressures from Government red tape and property developers, which looks set to get tougher as strict security and licensing measures are introduced under the Late Night Trading Code Of Practice – a proposal that was first shown by the SA Government last November and looks set to go into effect as of 1st October 2013, introducing 3am lockouts, metal detectors, increased CCTV surveillance, and drinks restrictions to Adelaide music venues.

In more positive news however, iconic Adelaide venue The Jade Monkey, which was forced to shut down for the construction of a $65 million hotel next door, is looking set to re-open at a new site in the coming weeks in a hopeful sign for the South Australian live music firmament.

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