Confusion Over Sydney Venue Ownership

There is confusion over the ownership of one of Sydney’s best known music venues, the  in Surry Hills.  

Photo: Orestes654 via Wikimedia Commons

The venue closed in 2009 after noise complaints from residents. Adrian Bull, a businessman who ran independent record label Blind Records, claimed on social media and in various interviews with media outlets that he is the new owner.

He intended to reopen it as a music venue in late 2017 after spending A$900,000 ($678,710) on renovations. However, his claims have been refuted by lawyers representing the current owners. Bull repeated the claims in the Music Feeds site and trade publication The Music Network.

Bull revealed, “The entire place needs to be rewired and re-set up to make everything safe for people – you only want people to be safe at shows. It’s a long-term goal and this entire process has only really just started.”

While the news was met with excitement that an important venue that build the careers of many independent acts would return, there was also skepticism from some quarters as Bull provided no physical evidence of his buyout.

The Music Network checked with Liquor & Gaming NSW to find that “former owner and venue manager Paul McCarthy is listed as the current licensee. Liquor & Gaming NSW said no application has been lodged as yet for a transfer or change to the licensee.”

Judd Commercial Lawyers, on behalf of Lion, issued a statement Nov. 14 that no such sale has taken place.

“Our client, prior to being informed of the news articles published yesterday, had never heard of Mr. Adrian Bull,” it read. “Our client has never been contacted by Mr. Adrian Bull. Our client does not know why Mr. Bull has made representations to the effect that he has purchased the Hopetoun Hotel when he has not. We have invited Mr. Bull to correct the public record and provide an explanation.”