It’s been a very long wait for Melbourne and its beachside suburb of St Kilda, which has been hanging on the fate of its live music landmark The Espy since it was sold and shuttered two years ago, but the great news is that the beloved venue will finally be back in action this weekend.
The iconic venue, which boasts a number of different live music spaces and was a regular draw to the area, was purchased by the same group who own a variety of other prominent venues, but has sat in the background as it’s battled planning issues and been slowly renovated back to full health.
Now, after promises to reopen The Espy next year, the new owners have announced a surprise gig this weekend featuring Aussie punk legends X playing the Gershwin Room, with The Heartache State and DJ Whitt of Spiderbait in support.
“It’s a new lease of life for St Kilda’s most iconic pub,” organisers say. “The old girl is in great hands and this is your chance to relive your fond memories and have a glimpse of the future. Join us in the Gershwin Room for this very limited event for the St Kilda Art Crawl.”
The Espy will open its doors on Saturday September 23, and hopefully the gig ends up being just the first of many we’ll see at the venue this year, as we’ve waited long enough for the Melbourne mainstay to return.
The long battle to add a rooftop terrace to the venue eventually fell by the wayside after long battles with residents and council who expressed concerns about late-night noise considering the venue’s 3am liquor license. Instead, the outdoor area now takes the form of a beer garden, and the venue has seen a host of other vital upgrades to keep it up to code.
While The Espy has faced issues with approval in recent years, local Esplanade residents were on the venue’s side years before when its owners proposed a 35-storey development behind the venue, an idea that was fought against fiercely and promptly defeated.
With the planning and politics out of the way, it’s time to get back to the live music – welcome back, Espy!
X will be the ideal band to bring The Espy back to life