Perth's Badlands Bar To Close Permanently After Insurance Premiums Rise Tenfold

12 July 2023 | 8:43 am | Mary Varvaris

The owners explained that the difficult decision was made following increased insurance premium costs.

Gyroscope @ Badlands Bar

Gyroscope @ Badlands Bar (Credit: Jonny Warrington)

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Badlands Bar, a beer garden and “unpretentious bar and live music venue” in Perth, will close its doors sometime in December 2023. Owners say the space will close “before Christmas” due to rising costs, making the space no longer financially viable.

Over the last seven years, Badlands Bar has hosted shows from local and international legends, including Gyroscope, Tropical Fuck Storm, Frenzal Rhomb, Kisschasy, Angel Olsen, Tired Lion, sleepmakeswaves and many more. The space can be the perfect sized room for an up-and-coming act or for a band like Gyroscope playing an intimate gig to their most devoted fans.

Sharing a statement on Facebook last night (11 July), Badlands’ owners cited rising costs forcing the venue to run at a loss. “We’ve loved bringing you live gigs and good times over the past 7 years, but it’s nearly time for us to go,” the owners wrote. “Badlands Bar will be shutting it’s doors permanently before Christmas.”

The difficult decision was made following increased costs of insurance premiums, with the owners explaining:

“For the past 12 months Badlands has been on the receiving end of a whopping 10 fold increase in our Public Liability Insurance premiums despite never having made a claim before. This was the only insurance coverage we were able to obtain to ensure the venue could continue to operate. This is a known, but rarely spoken about issue that has been impacting live music venues across Australia to varying degrees for the last 18 months or so.

“For us, it has meant that our business that only ordinarily trades around 12-16 hours per week, now needs hundreds of dollars in revenue per hour of opening just to pay an insurance premium that we have never needed to call upon in the last 7 years.

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“Being an independently owned small business, these massive increases coming straight after COVID have taken a huge toll on the business. This, in addition to other substantial increases in operating costs across the board in the past 12 months mean that Badlands is no longer financially viable.”

But it’s not all bad news – Badlands will celebrate its storied history by going out with a bang. Over the next five months, live music will take over the venue, hoping to bring “more great live acts and create many more great memories.” If you want to watch Badlands’ final gigs, follow their social media pages or subscribe to their e-newsletter here.

The statement concluded, “We appreciate that there may be well-wishers out there looking to raise funds on our behalf. However, Badlands will not be endorsing any fundraising efforts to help with our situation, so if you see anything on Go Fund Me, a lamington drive, or meat raffle in our honour, we’d ask that you redirect any such funds to the good folk at Support Act instead, as that will be where we donate any funds raised on our behalf.”