East Coast live music venue chain The Hi-Fi’s outlets in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, as well as their box office, have entered administration. According to documents obtained by Tone Deaf via the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), administrators seized control of the companies yesterday.
The well-known venue chain has hosted performances from local and international acts for 18 years, also acting as one of the primary hubs of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The venue still has numerous upcoming gigs booked, including tours from Mobb Deep, Parquet Courts, and A$AP Ferg.
While The Hi-Fi Group remains registered, according to documents filed with ASIC, The Hi-Fi’s Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane outlets, as well as their ‘Marketing Services’ branch, formerly known as their box office, have entered external administration.
According to their respective listings, the company has lodged a 505 document, a notice of appointment of an external administrator, for each of their venues. Administrators from the Romanis Cant accounting group have now taken control of the three venues and their assets.
However, according to the documents, while the method of appointment for the three East Coast venues is listed simply as “other”, the ‘Marketing Services’ branch was placed under court ordered administration and is currently in liquidation, overseen by the RSM Bird Cameron accounting group.
ASIC documents also indicate that liquidation proceedings for the Hi-Fi Group’s ‘Marketing Services’ outlet, which functions as their box office, began as early as 2013, continuing through 2014 and the company is now in liquidation.
The director of The Hi-Fi group is currently listed as Luke O’Sullivan, one of several shareholders. O’Sullivan is a former AFL star who opened the first Hi-Fi Bar in Melbourne in 1997. The company launched its Brisbane brand in 2009, with a Sydney venue coming into the fold in early 2012.
While the future of the company’s outlets remains unclear, numerous live music venues around the country have recently been struck by hard times. In Melbourne, the much-publicised closure of The Palace has resulted in an ongoing campaign to save the Bourke St venue from property developers.
When asked for comment, a Hi-Fi source told Tone Deaf that everything in the company was “business as usual”.