The city is in the midst of a mass period of change. This happens slowly, yet surely, every 10 years or so and usually all in one hit. You only need to take a teeny tiny look at Hunter Street and you’ll see what I mean. The change will, hopefully, all be for the better in the end and bring new life to the city. And it’s not just the streets that are changing either, a lot of the infrastructure is getting a mass makeover, (the library looks great by the way you should go and take a look). A friend of mine pointed out to me though, that one venue in particular has remained relatively unchanged for many a while. The giant tin shed that is the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
Sure don’t get me wrong, we are lucky to have a venue of that size available to us, and many a great act have walked through the hallowed doors, but maybe it’s time for an upgrade? I know live music can be a little low on the agenda for Newcastle officials (maybe it’s time someone officially called the powers that be out on that front?) but maybe it wouldn’t if we spent more time focusing on the venues hosting these really great acts.
I for one, would love to see the Entertainment centre known for more than a place where hoards of school children spend their time running around to choreographed routines so their parents can say they are enriching their lives, not just paying for childcare. I know how great the whole experience of going to the Hunter Valley can be, and the majority of big name acts usually head here on their nation wide journey. But it is sometimes a mission and a half trekking to the valley, for some it may even be easier to head to Sydney. Could we in fact spruce up the Entertainment Centre to put the venue back on the map again?
If Nick Cave can do it, surely other bands will choose this rite of passage as well. Transport is a lot easier, getting to Broadmeadow (kind of), it’s a lot closer and generally a whole lot cheaper, which is a win for music fans everywhere. Maybe after the Hunter Street fiasco is all cleared up, it might be time to work on the giant tin shed and turn it into something a little spectacular (without the Starstruck prefix).