Music Venues Can You Keep A Secret & It's Still A Secret Issue Urgent Plea For Help

11 June 2024 | 10:00 am | Mary Varvaris

"We find ourselves in a dire financial situation that threatens our very existence."

Can You Keep A Secret/It's Still A Secret

Can You Keep A Secret/It's Still A Secret (Source: YouTube)

Can You Keep A Secret and It’s Still A Secret, two bars and live music hotspots in the heart of Brisbane, have issued an urgent plea for support as they’re on “the precipice” of closing their doors for good.

In a GoFundMe fundraiser statement, the owner of both venues, Emily Dennis, wrote to supporters with a sense of “great urgency”.

“We find ourselves in a dire financial situation that threatens our very existence,” Dennis wrote before referencing the recent farewell concert for The Zoo – an iconic Brisbane music venue that was open for 32 years.

“Last week, we witnessed the closure of a 32-year-old iconic live music venue, leaving only a handful of us in the city dedicated to showcasing original music in venues of this scale across the city,” Dennis continued, calling The Zoo’s closure “a punch to the gut” that reminded independent venue owners of the “real struggles” they face today.

As for the reason for the fundraiser, Dennis cited the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living for a decline in attendance, early tickets sold, and an increase in event cancellations. Meanwhile, both venues are facing “increasing financial strain” due to “soaring” operational expenses and the higher costs of rent, supply, and insurance premiums.

Dennis wrote that both venues have explored “every possible avenue” for financial assistance. “Despite the incredible generosity and understanding shown by our landlords and suppliers during these challenging times, we are still facing an uphill battle to keep our doors open,” Dennis’ statement continued.

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“But we refuse to succumb to defeat. We believe in the power of community and the resilience of live music. Our venues have helped generate more than $228,000 for artists in the last 12 months alone, and we want to continue supporting the creative community.”

To help keep venues like Can You Keep A Secret and It’s Still A Secret open, Dennis urges supporters to make donations (“no matter the size”), spread the word about the GoFundMe campaign, go to shows, and call on local representatives to aid music venues.

Dennis stated, “We're not alone in this struggle; over one-third of small to medium-sized Australian live music venues have shut permanently in the past three years, and we are teetering on the brink of becoming another heartbreaking statistic.”

At the time of publication, the “Urgent Plea: Desperate Times Call for Help” GoFundMe campaign for both venues has raised over $19,000.