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Description and history: the Sandringham hotel, located at the southern end of busy King Street, Newtown, Sydney, Australia, was built in the 1860′s and originally was a coach house-style hotel. In the early years the hotel played host to and accommodated travelling actors who were performing at local theatres, business men and travellers to Sydney. It played a significant role in the community, and staged many local community events on its original balcony such as election and community speeches. On certain occasions it even acted as the local morgue! It was recognized this year by the Marrickville Council as the oldest existing business in its municipality.
Today, the Sandringham Hotel, or “The Sando” as it is affectionately known in the area, is a Sydney icon. The hotel is renowned for its venue which for many years has played host to a wide variety of artists and bands both known and unknown. Within the music industry “The Sando” is recognised as a place where young bands can get a start and where established acts feel comfortable performing showcase and warm up gigs. The hotel has maintained this reputation which sets it apart from other hotels in the area.
The hotel currently runs 7 nights a week entertainment with about 120 bands performing live per month. It sports 3 stages, with two at any one time operating. It’s current music heritage goes back to the 80′s where the growing alternative music scene of Sydney began favoring it as an ideal venue for up and coming bands. Bands such as The Whitlams and many more started at the Sando in its simple public bar format with a 60 people capacity. Today it contains not one but three spaces of varying capacities: 80, 100 & 300 people.
Like hundreds of other Australian businesses caught up in the Commonwealth Bank/Bankwest infamous banking loan scandal: http://www.unhappybanking.net.au/ the iconic live music venue The Sandringham Hotel is in BIG trouble. This is because the Sando was financed through Bankwest.
When the Commonwealth Bank bought the Bankwest loan portfolio, they revalued hundreds of businesses, and called in the receivers. Businesses like The Sando that had never missed a payment were suddenly under threat of being seized and sold out from underneath owner’s noses. This is now the subject of a Senate Inquiry and an ABC 4-Corners investigation.
The Commonwealth Bank is attempting to close The Sandringham Hotel even though the owners have never missed a payment. It’s the opinion of all-except the CBA-that the bank should wait until the Senate enquiry is complete before seizing the historic hotel and tossing it up on auction to the highest bidder.
In the last months, many of Australia’s leading bands have been staging concerts in an effort to raise both money for and a public awareness of what is happening with regard to the Commonwealth Bank’s atempts to seize The Sando. HERE is a video of one of those concerts: the August 26th post-rally concert, held directly outside the Sandringham Hotel-