Fly comes un­done at Vic­to­ria Hall

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Leah Roberts

MU­SI­CIANS and per­form­ers hop­ing to per­form at the Fly By Night Mu­si­cians Club will will have to con­sider other op­tions from Au­gust.

The club is cur­rently based at Vic­to­ria Hall but the City of Fre­man­tle re­con­sid­ered its lease in Fe­bru­ary.

Mayor Brad Pet­titt said it had been a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make, with the club be­ing an iconic part of the Fre­man­tle mu­sic scene.

“It had been on the scene for more than 30 years, host­ing great per­form­ers and nur­tur­ing lo­cal tal­ent. It would be heart­break­ing to see it close,” he said.

“Since the Na­tional Trust de­cided not to re­new the Fly’s lease on the Old Drill Hall in 2014, the City of Fre­man­tle has gone out of its way to help the Fly sur­vive, in­clud­ing of­fer­ing half-price rent on Vic­to­ria Hall, spend­ing more than $20,000 to im­prove the acous­tics of the hall and giv­ing them a $20,000 cash grant.

“The Fly has not been able to make Vic­to­ria Hall work as a prof­itable venue.”

The coun­cil had agreed to waive the club’s out­stand­ing debt to the City of about $70,000.

City of­fi­cers had looked into the Fly pre­sent­ing shows at other venues, in­clud­ing the Navy Club, Fre­man­tle Town Hall and South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club event space.

Fly by Night Mu­si­cians Club board of di­rec­tors chair­man Steve Wells said the board would meet later this month to fi­nalise its exit strat­egy from Vic­to­ria Hall and con­sider fu­ture di­rec­tions.

“The Fly ap­pre­ci­ates the sup­port it has re­ceived from Brad, arts and cul­ture man­ager Pete Stone and a range of other City staff since our forced move from the Drill Hall by the Na­tional Trust,” he said.

“It will be a shame if we need to leave Fre­man­tle af­ter all this time but that is one of the op­tions our board is cur­rently ex­plor­ing.

“We are com­mit­ted to the Fly con­tin­u­ing as a not-for­profit pro­moter of live in­de­pen­dent mu­sic.

“We know we need to change the busi­ness model if the Fly is to con­tinue.”

The Fly By Night club has to move from Vic­to­ria Hall.

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