What is to become of Sydney University's Manning Bar? That is the question circling around my head at the moment.
There were rumors a few months ago that Sydney University's Student Union (USU) had voted to ban certain styles of music of events from using Manning Bar - and now it looks like those rumors are true.
An article today in the Sydney Morning Herald confirms as much - that there will be a "ban" on music that is considered "too risky". The example given is Necro; a (very crappy) 'gore rapper' who raps about violence and death.
Why the ban? Because Sydney University wants to re-brand itself as an "Ivy League" institution, and are currently reviewing the music policy to curb "anti-social behaviour and alcohol".
Now let's get back to realism here; with a capacity of around 1,000, the Manning Bar is one of the only reasonable venues left in Sydney for international bands, and possibly the only venue of it's size with very good live sound quality. This is very, very disheartening news. It should be more than apparent that metal, grind, hardcore (and so on) will more than likely be facing the axe.
In the next few months alone the Manning Bar will host Meshuggah, Isis, Baroness, Converge, Genghis Tron and Between the Buried and Me. If we lose this venue, both Australian bands and countless international acts are going to have a very, very hard time playing in Sydney. The only equivalent venues left that come to mind is the UNSW Roundhouse - which as AWFUL live sound.
I can barely recall how many dozens of awesome shows I've been to at Manning Bar. All age shows have already been banned. Very, very sad news. Let's hope nothing comes of it.
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