The Annandale defends The Sando
In response to an Op Ed piece published on FL yesterday, in which musician Brendan McLean discusses why he won’t miss The Sando, The Dale – which came close to closure itself last year – writes that “Sydney is the most regulated city in the country if not the world; add to that the difficulties in getting people to shows, not to mention actually getting promoters and booking agents to put shows on anywhere outside of oxford street and kings cross, the endless licensing, resident and council issues a business like the sando surely had to face, and maybe you should be commending the sando crew for having a crack for the last seven years instead of complaining that you had to go the bar to get a beer.”
The Sando has also published an open letter on its Facebook.
The Annandale’s statement:
Brendan Maclean, I’m not sure if I’ve met you around the traps in my twelve years of owning the Annandale hotel but on this occasion you are an imbecile. it amazes me how keen people like you are to put the boot into someone who has fallen on hard times. Ask any small business owner how tough it is at the moment to stay afloat and you may start to get an indication of the difficulties facing independent operators.
Sydney is the most regulated city in the country if not the world; add to that the difficulties in getting people to shows, not to mention actually getting promoters and booking agents to put shows on anywhere outside of oxford street and kings cross, the endless licensing, resident and council issues a business like the sando surely had to face, and maybe you should be commending the sando crew for having a crack for the last seven years instead of complaining that you had to go the bar to get a beer. it surprised me how much criticism we received here when we took down the for sale sign and started the buy a brick campaign from certain circles. it was keyboard commentators like yourself who threw out the most uneducated comments about how and why the Annandale got to the position it ‘is’ still currently in. at the time we didn’t return fire as we felt it was only justifying what were cowardly ill informed barbs from people who really had no idea.
Brendan and the rest of you armchair commentators who feel more comfortable throwing your ‘expertise around’ from the safety of your keyboards, you will find me pretty much 7 days a week at the Annandale hotel. Please come down and enlighten with me your experience and expertise in how to run a live music hotel. Apparently you’re a sometimes triple j presenter, do the right thing and find out what is really going on before you make such stupid public comments.
The Sando’s statement:
Well it’s disappointing that your experience was not what you expected or desired at the Sando. It is also disappointing you use the facts sparingly and from your own personal experience and not that of others as well…
Regards costs we tried to push an incentive scheme to artists not a penalty one and $200 not $300 was the fee for PA & Lights, operators and door staff. This was fee was wavered for good results i.e do the numbers the PA, Lights…etc are free. Unlike other door deal venues where you pay up to $300 irrespective of the result. Your comments regards sound people I can’t comment on as I was not there but I can tell you out of the some 500-600 bands we have had in the venue, provided they have acted in a professional and respectful manner have received a great mix, professional attitude and been welcomed by all crew at the Sando. I do agree it is difficult for an acoustic set to occur at the same time a loud act is playing downstairs and we did solve this to a large degree with programming music styles.
I find it incredibly selfish and bizzare that any “real” musician would welcome a live venue closure and not strive to make it better when the opportunity was there. Grave yard comments and nasty remarks won’t create a new venue in fact will probably encourage other venues to close or not even try the live model. I would have thought some sympathy, positive energy to make it better would have been the trick. I just don’t see how your article or comments can be view as nothing more than a guy who had a bad gig.
I am sure there are 1000’s of muso that have had that experience with other venues…. In retrospect I would have been nicer and more productive for you to have knocked on my door, discuss the matter and try to help us, instead of kicking us when we are at our lowest… Sorry for your bad experience & pain.