Melbourne’s iconic music store Pure Pop Records is vacating its home at 221 Barkley Street, St Kilda.
Owner Dave Stevens will close one of Melbourne’s most lived record stores on August 17, but he promises that Pure Pop will rise again in a new location.
Pure Pop was not just a record store. It was a home for live music, where every week artists both local and visiting Melbourne would showcase their music.
The Pure Pop courtyard was licensed for just 49 patrons but it drew acts of the calibre of Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers,
Under current noise pollution laws in the state of Victoria, the rules changed giving priority to residents. This meant that long-term businesses had to adapt for newcomers to the area despite these people buying or renting property next to a known and longtime music venue.
Dave even set out with a crowd funding campaign through Pozible to raise part of the $150,000 needed for the soundproofing.
In a letter to his loyal customers, Dave explained how the situation of the past three years to soundproof the store
Good afternoon my beloved Pure Popsters
Here we are. After all the trials and tribulations of the last 9 years
here at 221 Barkly Street it has come to an end – for this location at least.
Rumours and speculations have been flying thick and fast about the future of Pure Pop Records and I’m sorry it’s taken so long to set the record straight. The reason is that in the past I’ve sent out progress reports and had the rug pulled out or new obstacles placed in front of me.
This time I wanted to be sure that I could tell you all where we’re at and what we’re doing about it
Case in point….
I sent an email out to brickbuyers a couple of months ago outlining that everything was set and ready to go. Planning permit issued, finance approved, architectural drawings done and ready for submission for a building permit (which was assured by council as they had worked in consultation with the architects and acoustic engineers). All we needed was the signature on the plans by the owner of the building before submission. I was then told by the landlord that he would not allow the renovation to take place. He has refused to give a reason for this decision. I was absolutely devastated. I have fought tooth and nail at great financial and emotional expense for years and to encounter this just as I was nearing the finish has been quite heartbreaking. The only thing he would tell me is that “All along I never said yes”
Now bear in mind that the landlord was aware of our plans every step of the way. It was nearly three years ago that the council informed us that we would have to soundproof the rear courtyard or cease having live music. From the start I have consulted with him, taking in his suggestions and informing him of my progress.
He was told that we had to enclose and soundproof the area – he didn’t object. He was told that we had to demolish the existing stage that was there when we moved in – he didn’t object. He was told that we were applying for a planning permit with the council to do the renovation – he didn’t object. He was told that we were starting a huge fundraising campaign to pay for the renovation – he didn’t object. He asked to meet with the architect to go over the plans, which we did. Myself and the architect went to the landlord’s house and noted the changes he wanted made to the plans, which we then made – he didn’t object.
A week later he called and said that he wasn’t going to give permission for the renovation,
with the line “I never said yes.” I am exploring my legal position in regards to the recovery of funds spent with his tacit approval, no matter what he says, on the renovation of his property.
I have put it in the hands of solicitors (working pro bono) and they have kindly told me they’ll look at it thoroughly and leave me to do what I have to do to……
…….it took a week or so for me to find any sort of silver lining in this situation.
Luckily I had put off the signing of a lease extension until after the building permit was issued. That means Pure Pop can get out of theses premises by August 31 without breaking a lease.
So that’s what Pure Pop is going to do. The search is on for new premises. I have already looked at a few places and rejected them for a number of reasons – nearby residents, too small, too big, zoned for retail not hospitality, etc, etc – but the search continues.
All of the plaques for the brickbuyers have been made and engraved. They’ve been sitting here at the store just waiting to be put up on the new wall for a year now. All it means is that they’ll be going up on a different wall.
So Pure Pop Records will be leaving 221 Barkly Street, closing the doors here on August 17.
Up until then, everything is on sale, not only our collection of CDs and vinyl, but fridges, CD racks, sandwich press, glass washer, everything!
We will also continue to have gigs right up until we close.
The last week here is going to be huge. We will be bringing back many of the regular performers who have not only entertained us over the years but have become firm and loyal friends of all of us at Pure Pop. Stay tuned for news of the lineup.
I will be continuing to put on shows at other venues as “Pure Pop Presents…” while on the search for the new venue.
Lastly, I ask that if you guys in your travels around the area see any vacant spaces, please drop me a line. I may have already checked it out but chances are I might not have.
Please don’t grieve over losing Pure Pop.
No one has lost Pure Pop except the landlord of 221 Barkly Street
We will return!
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