This weekend the age old Melbourne problem of a neighbourhood (well in this case one neighbour) taking action against a live music venue once again raised its ugly head.
This time it was the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood, and its owner Guy Palermo, that found themselves looking down the barrel after constant complaints from one neighbour of the venue to the local council. The Hotel thought they had solved the problem by bringing in experts and also spending $10,000 on sound proofing the venue, however after one recent event the neighbour once again made complaints to Yarra City Council and the council acted. As news filtered through that the Bendigo Hotel was to be hit by heavy fines and a hearing at VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) their management announced the decision on Facebook by saying – “what can i say except that i am so sorry about all of this and i hope to hell that we get a good outcome; for all our staff, bands, punters, musicians, artists, sound engineers, our awesome neighbours, friends & family. He’s just one bad egg on a street where everyone else is fckn rad!!!!”
The severity of that announcement hit hard when it was realised that the VCAT hearing could result in the venue being forced to close its doors immediately. The good news was Melbourne’s music fans quickly jumped into gear and soon the Bendigo’s Facebook was awash with messages of support while an online petition soon saw more supporters jumping to get behind the cause.
However things were looking up this afternoon when The Bendigo management sat down with Stephen Jolly and Simon Huggins from Yarra City Council and were able to have the VCAT hearing adjourned. Management from The Bendigo Hotel and the Yarra City Council will now sit down at a roundtable meeting and try to flesh out an interim solution.
Yes Melbourne music fans can once again rejoice as The Bendigo Hotel lives to fight another day.