Though Cake Wines has had a cellar door in Redfern for the past four years, it’s actually been kicking around for far longer than that, and had a reputation for throwing excellent parties before it had a physical space. It seems fitting, then, that now the physical space is closing (on June 15), it’ll be making the most of the end with yet more parties.
“The venue has been home to some great local, interstate and international artists since we opened,” co-founder Glen Cassidy said in a statement. “It was a deliberate and conscious decision to create an environment where off-kilter sounds, particularly across various off-shoots of jazz, broken beat, soul, house ... could flourish. These last two weeks will be a showcase of that as we announce a series of free shows so everyone can come down and enjoy the venue for one last time.”
The free gigs will kick off tonight with new-jazz artists Horatio Luna and Setwun, who will be joined by Foshe (who recently played at Mary’s Underground), Rossario and Dan Pliner. It’s part of the Vivid Live program, which has also seen gigs played in barber shops, small bars and pubs. Also part of that program – and Cake Wines’ final night of Vivid gigs – will be a performance the following night, June 8, by Melbourne techno artist Rings Around Saturn. They will play live, joined by Cousin and Nat James.
On Friday June 14 the venue will throw its last End Notes party – its longest-running music event. This’ll be its 38th instalment and, like the others, will be led by bandleader and bassist Edward Lyons. Expect a 13-piece band playing three sets of everything from Ethio-jazz to Japanese funk, brass-driven New Orleans numbers to neo-soul, Afro-inspired south London jazz and disco burners. While this is the last End Notes party at the cellar door, Cake says that doesn’t mean it won’t hold the gigs elsewhere.
The grand finale will be on the following night, with a bunch of regulars taking to the Cake Wines stage for the very last time. Local DJs Ariane, Mike Who, Tom Studdy, Sidehustle DJs and Anno will be joined on the decks by Cake Wines co-founder Glen Cassidy.
Cake Wines announced its closure at the end of last month saying it had decided not to renew its lease. Though it’s been open in Redfern for four years, it’s been making wines in the Adelaide Hills under head winemaker Sarah Burvill since 2011.
“Running a venue in Sydney is particularly challenging at the moment, that’s no secret,” Cassidy told Broadsheet in 2018. “But we’ve tried to create a place that has an even balance of a few things: food, wine, music, culture in all its forms. It’s the way we love to drink and enjoy wine, so there’s always something new happening.”
Despite closing, Cassidy says the company plans to continue throwing music, food and wine parties in “laneways, rooftops, basketball courts, the odd shitty loading dock”.
Cake Wines will close on June 15. All the final events are free and walk-in only. Find out more here.