Ballarat Demolishes a Demolition Order
How does a small, historic town in Australia demolish a demolition order on its most famous music venue? Well, it takes years.
It also takes a determined local activist, who now happens to be the Mayor – Samantha McIntosh.
For years, Civic Hall has been plastered with protest signs, notes detailing memories of previous gigs, stickers and old images of Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and other bands who graced the stage and shaped the Australian music industry. The Seventies and Eighties in Australian history – known as a Golden Age for bands and fans – thrived with a touring circuit that took performers like Bon Scott (below, in a famous Countdown performance) from the capital cities of each state to small towns and old 1930’s venues like The Civic.
AC/DC, Divinyls and Easybeats History
ACDC is firmly entrenched into the social history of Ballarat as they performed at the Civic Hall on January 14, 1977 in their Giant Dose of Rock and Roll Tour. The Easybeats also performed at the Civic Hall in the 1960’s.
With a $100 million rebuilding budget promise from the Victorian State Government it looks as though rock’n’roll is back in Ballarat.
Ballarat’s art deco Civic Hall was a ghostly building for almost 20 years after the old Ballarat City Council decided to shut it down in 2002.
The Save Civic Hall campaign brought the town and surrounding areas together and won. Both the stunning old stage that music fans remember, and the classic row-upon-row of seats, will be back for the 21st century.
Pictured below, Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh with an impression of the new seats planned for the restored Civic Hall and the original interior (The Courier).