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Live Music Prevails: Noise Complaints Against Marrickville's The Great Club Dropped

14 June 2023 | 3:32 pm | Mary Varvaris

“We'd like to extend another huge thank you to you all. Please keep coming to gigs and supporting local live music!!”

The Great Club

The Great Club (Source: Facebook)

350-capacity Marrickville music venue The Great Club was in real trouble earlier this year, with venue owner Alison Avron revealing that the venue was crowdfunding to fight noise complaints and legal fees.

"I'm going through a very stressful time at the moment because of one neighbour who is determined to have TGC shut down. You'll see the last photo of this thread is the latest in their attempt," she wrote in early February, before referencing "so much more" going on behind the scenes.

On 28 February, Avron kickstarted the crowdfunding campaign. “In the two rollercoaster years since opening our doors to the community, we have weathered heavy trading restrictions during a global pandemic, lockdowns, staff shortages and kitchen blunders, but The Great Club has managed to keep afloat.  

"We are a determined team of live music lovers who have always wanted to keep the dream alive for artists, audiences, and our community in spite of all these setbacks,” the introduction to the Chuffed fundraiser read.

This venue has hosted the likes of Middle Kids, MAY-A, Urthboy, Speed, Annie Hamilton, Tim Rogers, and many more. 

As COVID-19 restrictions on music venues lifted in the last months of 2022, The Great Club could finally operate as usual again. “But then, in a tale as old as time, a small but vocal few in our area have been repeatedly complaining to the authorities that The Great Club is ‘unsafe for the Marrickville community,’” the fundraiser continued.

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By the end of February, The Great Club was up to $20,000 in legal fees, over $50,000 in lost income, and $10,000 in potential cash fines, but the sound-proofing amendments could have done the venue in, with an expected cost of $200,000 to 250,000 to cover the changes.

Almost four months later and The Great Club is saved – the noise complaint case has been dropped, The Daily Telegraph reports.

It’s been a year-long battle between The Great Club and NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) neighbours attempting to shut Avron’s venue down. Last month, however, live music finally prevailed when the Marrickville council dropped any threats towards The Great Club.

As Avron noted to The Daily Telegraph, things got so hard that she cancelled the venue’s ANZAC Day celebrations out of fear of how the neighbours would respond.

Avron told The Daily Telegraph that she cried for “three days straight” after the Marrickville council dropped the threats and the venue was saved. She added, “It’s hard to believe a small group of grumpy neighbours could do this.”

Celebrating the great news on social media, Avron posted an "uplifting" update to Facebook and wrote, “We'd like to extend another huge thank you to you all. Please keep coming to gigs and supporting local live music!!”