Becoming the Hindley Street Music Hall

Last updated 27 Feb, 2023

More international and national music acts are choosing Adelaide as a place to do business thanks to a revamp of a vacant nightclub, according to Five Four Entertainment director Craig Lock.

The Hindley Street Music Hall, which opened in 2022 at the former HQ Complex nightclub site, underwent a $6m redevelopment to create a concert venue that fits up to 2000 people.

Mr Lock says Hindley Street Music Hall, the latest jewel in Adelaide’s UNESCO City of Music crown, “plugged a hole” in the city’s live music scene to make Adelaide an exciting place to play in South Australia.

"Previously a lot of acts would not come because they couldn’t make financial sense of playing at a smaller or larger room and would just not play in South Australia at all on their tour,” Mr Lock says.

“Even so, early in our life we have attracted acts who previously wouldn’t have come at all which for music fans is probably the most exciting thing we are bringing to the table long term.”

Hindley Street Music Hall is the brainchild of a collective musical powerhouse which includes Secret Sounds, Australia’s largest festival promotor Live Nation, Adelaide’s own Five Four Entertainment and the team behind Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.

Powderfinger bass player John Collins is steering the ship as venue director and co-owner.

Collins used his know-how from touring the globe as a driving force in shaping a completely immersive audience experience.

The venue was painstakingly redesigned to enhance the symbiotic energy between punters and artists through seamless sightlines and sound.

Mr Lock says the deve Mezzanine, which accounts for 35 per cent of the venue’s capacity, makes for great viewing and ensures there is not a bad seat in the house.

“(We lowered) about two thirds of the original dance floor area to increase its size to allow 1,000 people to be standing on the floor watching bands.

“From there we also made structural changes to the balconies and added a mezzanine level to increase sight lines and the capacity of the space.

“These two things were huge amount of work — I think around 200-300 tonnes of concrete had to be removed from the building before we could rebuild these elements.”

The building was put to the test on 15 September 2022 with a huge opening night featuring some Aussie favourites. DMAs and Wafia packed out the venue with support from locals West Thebarton and Jess Day.

Since then, the venue has hosted a slew of acts including indie-pop singer/songwriter Vance Joy, Hanson, icons UB40 and Spiderbait and a Taylor Swift tribute night.

Upcoming concerts include the Vengaboys, Counting Crows, Peking Duck, The Smith Street Band and Adelaide Festival shows such as Campe Cope and Julia Jacklin.

Mr Lock hopes the quality of shows have a flow-on effect on nearby traders who can reap the rewards of extra people in the precinct.

“I think we are kind of the cherry on top of a great precinct (Hindley Street) that …. has really matured and is now able cater to a really broad demographic of people looking to go out and socialise,” Mr Lock says.

“I would hope that other traders on the street and the area and feeling a lot of positive effects from us opening.

“We are regularly bringing 1000-2000 people into the area and often on weeknights.

“Hopefully other bars and restaurants are then getting some trade before and after our show that they didn’t get previously.”

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