If you’ve spent any real time in Newcastle, you’ve probably been to the Cambridge Hotel – the iconic music venue which has hosted everything from local bands debuting their live shows to international touring acts for 25 years. Also, a few of my friends’ birthday parties, for what it’s worth. (Very little, I imagine.)
Unfortunately the current owners are putting the hotel up for sale, shopping the venue to developers with a plan for a 153 high-rise apartment building. The views would be fantastic, so you could imagine this is probably what will happen.
Luckily, the current leaseholders have six years left, and have vowed to keep the venue going as is until then.
“From where we stand, we have six years remaining on our lease and have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon”, Cambridge management wrote in a statement. “We have been in discussions with the current and potential new owners of The Cambo to do everything we can to keep Newcastle’s most iconic live music venue true to its name.”
“We’ve had sold out shows for Dune Rats, The Hard Aches, San Cisco, Northlane, Peking Duk, Client Liaison, Gooch Palms, Birds of Tokyo, The Living End, Marshmello, Trophy Eyes, Thundamentals, Tash Sultana, plus thousands of tickets sold for other local, national and international bands. It is clear to us that Newcastle loves live music, or any music for that matter. We love music too, and have no intention of shutting this party down.”
Despite shopping the land as a potential apartment complex, the current owners hope the venue may live on underneath.
“We’re hoping the developer that ultimately acquires it will see fit to make sure they maintain a hotel within the complex,” co-owner, John Palmieri told the Newcastle Herald. “I’m pretty confident that will happen. There would be nothing to replace it in terms of what it can offer.”
Despite what Palmieri hopes, this is unlikely for numerous reasons, tantamount being noise complaints, structural concerns, plus the fact the clientele would completely shift, most likely away from live music. People aren’t buying an apartment underneath a venue that hosts Cannibal Corpse gigs.
This means Newcastle will soon be without a mid-sized venue, leaving a huge gap in the national touring circuit.