The Commons forced to close its doors

Oh yes, council have done it again. They’ve gone and shut down what was probably the only all ages live music venue running in Newcastle, making me scream once again, “let the kids play”. The issue has come directly from council, and in all honesty, boils down to red tape and paperwork.

The Commons was a community run space, built for community events. Savvy young guns and entrepreneurs were able to utilise that space to the best of their ability and host some really great all ages gigs there. A safe place, designed specifically for small scale events.

I really do wish there was more behind the council’s decision, however it’s unfortunately red tape and paperwork. You see the Commons is a community space available to be booked by artists, not a venue in the traditional sense. But the council say the commons can’t continue without a DA specific to venues. 

What’s the point of having a community run space if it isn’t actually available to members of the community? So many amazing local and international artists have played at the Commons, it’s also one of my favourite venues in town. Like I said, it was also pretty much the only existing all ages venue in town.

Just like the Loft, the council have submerged the wonderful locals behind the running of the venue, as well as the up and coming booking agents and managers that were in fact running the events, in a sea of red tape, funds no one has, and paperwork.

Like a message from event organiser Caitlin says on the Commons Live Music and Arts page, we as Novocastrians will keep fighting the good fight.

Arts and music community forever, gentrification never.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.


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  1. My housemate and I live opposite The Commons. The all ages gigs consisted of underaged drinking, trashing the church, our cars, and seeing who can throw glass bottles the furthest down the street. No one is taking responsibility, there was no security to keep it under control, and unfortunately we have had to call the police a few times. I’ll be sad to see The Commons go because it’s a great space for everyone to enjoy, but I definitely won’t be missing the out of control all ages gigs.

  2. Definitely out of control, attracting underage kids for the wrong reasons. I’m sure anyone who has been to these all ages gigs know they are out of control. No regulation, kids all over the street, clearly intoxicated, It’s really unfortunate that The Commons were continuing to have these gigs, knowing what was happening. Next to a church, in an alcohol free zone, they should be disgusted with themselves.

  3. Actually I went there to watch gigs all the time and while there were a few trashy folks 90% of the time it was a cool commute hang-out where musos could play to a room of good people. This is not the fault of the Commons this is the fault of a few dumbass kids and a rowdy bar across the street.

  4. From Newcastle City Council…

    Following complaints about a café operating without consent on Beaumont Street, Hamilton, NCC officers inspected it and discovered an entertainment facility operating upstairs. Unfortunately, inquiries revealed no consent had been issued for the manner in which Fellowship House was being used and, more critically, it did not comply with fire safety requirements.

    We are working with the the Church to make the building compliant with fire safety regulations.

    The Uniting Church, which owns the building, voluntarily ceased operations and has assured Council that any future activities would first go through the necessary approvals process to ensure the safety of occupants.

  5. This is terrible news no doubt but I’ve been running all ages shows with a friend for almost 12 months now at our new aa space and we welcome anyone and EVERYONE to come and have fun in a safe, security supervised environment. We have a fully licenced bar and bistro to cater to your hunger needs too. Here’s a few of our upcoming shows and a link to the page if you want to keep up to date with all the amazing work were doing 100% voluntarily.

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