Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are very different cities, but one thing they had in common was The Hi-Fi. In each city, The Hi-Fi offered what is becoming an increasingly rare home for local and international bands of a certain size. Band rooms that can hold around 1,000 people are a crucial element to ensuring a vibrant music culture in a city, so it was with a lot of consternation that news broke of the Hi-Fi venues entering voluntary administration earlier this year.
In happy news, it’s now confirmed The Hi-Fi will live on as Max Watt’s House of Music (the name is a play on “maximum wattage”). In a press release issued today, new CEO Greg Bourke says it’s “business as usual for the venues.” While many experienced Hi-Fi staff will remain under the new management, The Hi-Fi’s long time booker, James Power, who was retained by administrators to keep the venues going while they looked for buyers, is now working on a new venture.
In coming weeks there will be rapid rebranding and renovations. We can expect better lighting and spruced-up sound systems from Max Watt’s, and in further good news, all tickets for 2015 will be honoured. “Music fans can look forward to a great line-up at our venues in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” says Bourke. “All of the highly experienced and passionate venue staff [are] staying on.”
Max Watt’s will work with booking agents from The Venue Collective (the team behind Corner Hotel and Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, Newtown Social Club in Sydney and Brisbane’s Woolly Mammoth). It’s a good day for live music in all three cities.