As we get ready to say sayonara to 2015, the Newcastle Live office has been abuzz with the top ‘Newy’ moments over the past 12 months. From local superheroes, crazy weather, the launch of a new icon, and some memorable musical feats and fails; let’s take a look at the year that was…
Opening of the Anzac Memorial Walk
It began as a sketch of an idea to commemorate the Anzac centennial anniversary. 5 years and $4.5 million dollars later, the Anzac Memorial Walk came to completion and gave Newcastle a spectacular tribute to the Hunter men and woman who served during the Great War of 1914-1918. The sweeping views from the top are nothing short of stunning; from our azure coastline, to the glittering lights of the city, to our ever-changing harbour. A grand addition to Newcastle’s iconic sights.
Uh-oh, spaghettios. The infamous night when one of the most anticipated shows of 2015 became one of the most disappointing in one swift (and very confusing) mic-drop. American rapper, Childish Gambino was advertised to play at The Cambridge Hotel in October, and the show sold-out in a matter of hours. However, as the night progressed, fans began to feel as though they did not get entirely what they thought they had paid for… Our contributor, Nick Milligan, wrote a great re-cap of the events that transpired here, but in short, a baffled Gambino was booed off the stage to the chorus of “buuulllllshiiiiittt” by the unhappy crowd.
The Great (and increasingly tedious) Rail Debate
Look up the definition of “broken record“, and you’ll find a pretty good summation of this whole ordeal. Cut the rail. Save the rail. Cut the rail. Save the rail. This veritable not-so-merry-go-round of opinions plagued our city, and our news feeds, for far too long this year. C’mon. Get on to the next controversy already.
Newcastle Knights win the wooden spoon
Oh well, there’s always next year boys. This year coach Rick Stone got the sack after a string of disappointing results and the team chalked up their second wooden spoon. There’s not much more we can really say about this without rubbing salt into wounds, so we’ll just stop.
2015 was a great year for live music in Newcastle, seeing the launch of two big music festivals – THIS THAT and Live At The Foreshore – over one weekend on 31st Oct and 1st Nov. THIS THAT took over the Foreshore on the Saturday, catering to the younger market with an indie/electronic heavy line-up of Triple J darlings. While the young ones were sleeping off the massive night before, the Foreshore was transformed into Live At The Foreshore on the Sunday, featuring a mostly 80s Aus rock line-up and giving the older folks a turn to party.
The super storm in April this year may not have delivered Pasha Bulker v2.0, but it certainly brought a similar level of wrath and destruction upon the region with heavy rain, flooding, wild winds, and huge swells. Leaving a trail of devastation in its wake, and thousands of houses without power for over a week, this 3-day storm was described by meteorologists as “remarkable” and “a once-in-a-generation system” with “unprecedented” wind gusts of up to 135kph lashing the Hunter.
Iconic Australian musician plays at one of Newcastle’s icons
The inaugural Elsewhere event in March saw the iconic Nobby’s Lighthouse transform into a live music venue for one night only, with Australian music royalty, Paul Dempsey (best known as front-man of Something For Kate) headlining the stellar show. All those who were lucky enough to snap up a ticket – the show sold-out in just 5 hours – got to experience Newcastle live music history in the making; a breathtaking location, picture-perfect weather (we won’t soon forget that sunset!), and a line-up of outstanding performances by some of Australia’s finest musicians.
Superhero Novocastrians save the day after cafe crash
In November, an elderly man accidentally backed his car into the Vinyl Cafe on Perkins St, trapping a mother and her baby underneath the wreck. Within seconds, a dozen or so bystanders leapt into action to lift the 1360kg Camry off the woman, who was unable to breathe, freeing her from what would’ve have been a fatal situation. Thanks to the quick actions of this band of everyday heroes, the mother and baby both survived and are recovering from their injuries.
The Star Hotel: from riots to refined
After a highly-anticipated refurbishment, Newcastle’s iconic Star Hotel reopened its doors in early 2015 as a sleek modern bar and restaurant. For those who remember The Star in its prime during the late 1970s, the rebirth of the hotel is a far cry from its past as a hazy music venue and as the infamous site of one of the largest riots in Australian history. Though The Star’s appearance has changed, the memories of its past have not been forgotten. A series of historical photos are displayed proudly on the interior walls, paying homage to the venue’s rich history and strong connection to the Newcastle community.
Westfield Kotara takes new heights
Westfield Kotara opened its$55 million Hunter Valley-inspired outdoor dining and entertainment precinct called, The Rooftop in November. As proud partners of The Rooftop Gig Series, Newcastle Live have enjoyed many afternoons and evenings on the rooftop and we’ve fallen in love with it. Although there has been a lot of negativity about the development making it harder to find a parking space at the shopping centre, it hasn’t stopped thousands of people heading to the complex every day.