Top marks to town hall
Consistent sell-outs for a broad variety of shows at busy Horsham Town Hall have prompted venue staff to urge people to make sure they get tickets for performances or events early.
Marketing co-ordinator Charee Smith said after 12 months of operation since the opening of the multi-million dollar redevelopment, the town hall schedule showed little sign of slowing down.
“In fact, it is only going to get busier. Most shows have been sold out or close to capacity. People now know they can’t leave it to the last minute to book – because the shows are selling out,” she said.
“We are at a stage where people are desperate to know what’s happening next. While it makes it all incredibly busy, it is also extremely satisfying.
“We’re starting the year with a heavy commercial program and we’re close to publishing our next event calendar.
“It is just so exciting how well the community has embraced the venue.”
An extended team of up to 80, including core staff and volunteers, is providing support for the various commercial and community events at the town hall and art gallery.
Ms Smith said word in the entertainment industry was that performers were keen to return.
“We’re also getting amazing comments from patrons. Some say they don’t need to go to Melbourne for major shows any more,” she said.
Ms Smith said apart from commercial productions, the centre was designed and developed for community use.
“We have this lovely large flat floor space perfect for award nights, conferences, cabarets and more. We encourage community organisations to get in touch with venue management to see how hiring the hall operates under the redeveloped program,” she said.
“Horsham has grown in developing this centre to beyond the days of simply giving someone a set of keys. It’s a multi-million dollar facility run by professionals who are there to support community users. They need to ask to find out how it works.”
Horsham Mayor Pam Clarke said results from 12 months of operation were satisfying, especially considering the project involved lengthy and at times heated debate.
“Sometimes out of pain comes great things. There have been several occasions where original project detractors have come up to say their minds have been changed and they are now great supporters. This happens a lot. Many people simply didn’t realise what a performing arts centre was,” she said.
The latest piece of a cultural precinct jigsaw involving the town hall is in place with Horsham Rural City Council confirming operators for the building’s Pynsent Street bar and restaurant.
Hugh and Nicole Goldson will operate a new venture called baa 3400, offering Horsham a new social dining experience.
The 40-seat business will offer a ‘noncoursing’ shared-plates menu, featuring all-day Monday-to-saturday dining.
Mr Goldson is a Michelin Star-trained chef, having worked in exclusive British restaurants and Mrs Goldson has a management degree.