One of Melbourne’s most iconic venues is facing demolition

Melbourne’s iconic Festival Hall is facing demolition after its
owners lodged an application for two 16-storey apartment towers
to be built on the site.

The West Melbourne venue first opened in 1915 for events
including boxing and is still owned by the same family. They
say the 5400-capacity space can no longer compete with larger
and more modern rivals, including Margaret Court Arena.

It’s the only remaining Australian venue where The Beatles
played and has hosted The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead and
Justice in more recent times, with Kaytranada already this
year, Tiesto in February and Carl Cox’s Pure in April.

The $65 million development plan would involve much of the
original hall being demolished and replaced by apartments,
offices and retail spaces, but historically significant parts
would remain, including the boxing ring and Dudley St

Owner Stadiums Limited does not intend to develop the site
itself, but hopes to find an interested buyer to realise the

Festival Hall was destroyed by fire in 1955 but rebuilt in time
for the 1956 Olympics Games, where it played host to the
gymnastics and wrestling.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag’s Australian Digital Content
Editor, follow him on Twitter

[Image: Nathan Doran Photography]