Brisbane venue closes due to financial pressures facing grassroots live music

Featured Image: Diane Picchiottino on Unsplash

A grassroots Brisbane music venue has closed down after 32 years, due to the financial strains that are currently plaguing live entertainment. 

The Zoo, which has a capacity of 500 and opened in 1992, has hosted thousands of gigs during its three decades in operation.

Even record sales over the last year have been unable to halt the venue from having to close its doors.

In a statement, management said: “As passionate music fans and proud members of the community, it’s impossibly hard to share the news that after nearly 32 years of live music, The Zoo will be closing its doors on July 8.

“Sadly, the financial reality of keeping music venues afloat in 2024 is all too stark. The Zoo reached its highest ticket sales in its 32-year history last year, yet this was still not enough to combat rising operational costs, and decreasing returns.

“As a music venue, we try our best to keep venue hire costs as low as possible for artists and promoters, which means that the financial risks are on the venue, and we depend on bar sales for profit. The cost of supplying alcohol is rising, and bar sales are going down, likely due to a mix of lifestyle changes and cost of living stress for our patrons.”

The statement added that the venue had been running at a loss for more than three years, and that sister venue Stranded will also be closing its doors for good.

Management also encouraged live music fans to support local venues and urge the government to prevent more locations from closing.

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