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Sydney Desperately Needs Pleasures Playhouse To Stay Open

1 November 2022 | 1:50 pm | Parry Tritsiniotis

It is so rare to have a medium sized, art and live music dedicated venue that is dedicated to excellent curation and a focus on safety and diversity. Hence, Sydney is desperate for Pleasures Playhouse to stay open.

(Image via Anna Hay)

Pleasures Playhouse is exactly what Sydney needs from a live music venue.

The live music and arts venue, whose space was an abandoned cinema has just wrapped up 6 weeks of exceptional programming. The keys were handed over to Kat Dopper (the founder of Heaps Gay and Summer Camp Festival), who put together 35 raves and parties as a part of the activation of the space. 

The original building was originally used as the iconic Harbour City Cinema which housed old Chinese films and has since become one of Sydney’s most exciting cultural destinations right in the heart of the city, a rare feat for a city which is so often reliant on renegade spaces or licensed venues owned by major corporations.

The venue was used as a safe space for self expression, one whose excellent curation drove audiences to its seats and dancefloor. Architecturally the space was beautiful, as the venue honoured its history while balancing it with some of the richest artistic talent that the world and this city has to offer. It hosted a range of events from talented artists and promoters including BBGB Worldwide, Alex Lahey, Broods, Haiku Hands, Carolina Gasolina, Bare Necessities & more as well as community focussed parties hosted by BYPASS, Heaps Gay, Athletica, Fur Ball, Nina Las Vegas & more. All of the events were also financially accessible with no ticket over $30 and many events free of charge.

The venue acted as an exemplar of how to run a medium sized live music venue, one with safety, curation and care at its heart. 

The venue has now wrapped up its live music program, announcing the end on Instagram saying, “Do all good things have to come to an end though? If you think we should keep Pleasures Playhouse open for longer, comment below and tell us why!!”

Sydney desperately needs Pleasure’s Playhouse to remain open, due to its excellent curation, its focus on safety and the lack of medium sized venues in Sydney.

On the curatorial front, the venue was treated with distinct care, with some of the brightest talent from across Australia performing in the venue which is built for artistic excellence. Pleasures Playhouse showcased the amazing potential of Sydney creatives and promoters, giving them an elevated platform to showcase their work on a scale and in a space that is typically exclusive. The curation also reflected the vast amount of talent that Sydney has to offer, outside of the traditional realm of its bubbling inner west. The city is overflowing with creatives who deserve a platform and Pleasures Playhouse provided that excellently, showcasing these minds alongside some of the best artists in the world.

Pleasures Playhouse also had a distinct focus on artist and punter safety, ensuring that the live music venue was a place that people could explore themselves fully and free them from the outside world. Safety is a necessary step in ensuring a venue is great, and so rarely is it at the forefront of a venue's mind. Every night there was filled with energy, vibrancy and community, one that was driven by its safety policy. Its focus on curation within the LGBTQIA+ community was a hallmark of its opening, a rare consideration by many venues within Sydney who often become gentrified quickly. Across all of its curation, cultural safety, diversity and representation was showcased, ensuring that punters and artists alike knew they would have an amazing time surrounded by like minded individuals. 

Structurally, Sydney is in desperate need of more medium sized venues. There is a serious lack of live music spaces within Sydney that are solely dedicated to platforming and assisting artists on a stage that is intimate, but also ambitious. Pleasures Playhouse would be a vitally significant addition to Sydney’s venue landscape, a landscape that is already scarce in venues let alone good ones. It is a multi-use venue that platforms a wide range of art forms, facilitating a range of creatives in a space with no viewing obstruction, varied seating and the ability for a raging dancefloor. It fills a huge gap in Sydney’s market.

So Pleasures Playhouse, (we get it if it’s logistically impossible) we desperately need you to stay open. The venue, with only 6 weeks of curation, has become an undeniable community hub and has been a highlight of what has been a difficult decade for Sydney’s nightlife.

You can check out a whole heap of tributes to the venue below.

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