Brunswick Ballroom Hacked On Instagram: ‘It’s Such A Heartbreak’

26 February 2024 | 3:56 pm | Ellie Robinson

"We're kind of at the mercy of the Facebooks and Instagrams, unfortunately."

The Brunswick Ballroom

The Brunswick Ballroom (Website)

The Brunswick Ballroom – a beloved mid-sized venue in the titular Melbourne (Naarm) suburb – has had its Instagram account hacked, stunting its ability to reach tens of thousands of potential concertgoers.

Speaking to, venue director Will Ewing says he first noticed the account had been compromised “about two weeks ago”, but Instagram’s parent company Meta did “absolutely nothing” to help him recover it. “I’ve done all the things you can do,” he says. “I’ve provided all my information – all my ID has been recorded and sent off. I’ve sent like 12 emails, tried to call various people... But yeah, nothing.”

Given the importance of social media to promote upcoming events – especially amid a time when venues are struggling in general – the loss of a platform like Instagram, where The Brunswick Ballroom had a strong base of nearly 14,000 followers, is devastating. “It’s a bit of a nightmare,” Ewing notes, pointing out that “we're kind of at the mercy of the Facebooks and Instagrams, unfortunately”.

The 470-cap venue used Instagram to promote shows and happenings on a regular basis, particularly targeting the demographic aged 18-to-35. While he’s hopeful the page will be reactivated one day, Ewing started a new account for The Brunswick Ballroom today, posting a skit in which he attempts to seek justice on the hacker.

The post was accompanied by a competition, calling on commenters to guess who hacked the original page for a chance to win a prize pack including free concert tickets. One hopeful entrant put Baz Luhrmann in as their guess, joking that the hacking is “a clever marketing ploy for the new sequel to Strictly Ballroom: The Brunswick Beat”. Another suggested it must be “the Tradie underwear crew” because “they’re always looking for more ball room”.

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Ewing is hopeful the competition will encourage people to follow the new page. It’s indicative of the kind of content the venue always strives to deliver, as Ewing explains: “We try to make all our content fun and engaging – not just like, ‘Sell, sell, sell, come see a show!’ We want to tell stories and be engaging. It’s so disappointing that we don't have that format anymore. It's such a heartbreak.”

In the meantime, the venue hopes to lean on its “really loyal following” and the strong subscription base for its EDM newsletter. “It's a really personalised newsletter, which I write most weeks,” Ewing says, “and Tanisha, our marketing manager, does a great job on it – so we've got a really solid following there, which is great. And Facebook is really strong. But I think for the gigs [that appeal to] the younger market, Instagram is really, really important, so we need to get that back up and running as soon as possible.”

Artists playing The Brunswick Ballroom in the next few weeks include the Soweto Gospel Choir (who will take to its stage on Saturday March 2), Canisha (Wednesday March 6), The Slingers (Saturday March 9), Gaby Moreno (Wednesday March 20) and Mark Seymour & The Undertow (Saturday April 21). Head here to see the full list of upcoming events.