Despite carving out a reputation for itself as Wollongong’s live music hub over the last 18 months, we’re hearing reports that the Harp Hotel seems to have changed focus and will no longer host live music.

This Wednesday would have seen a trio of up-and-coming locals – Young Braves, The Good God Damned and A Cat Named Kesey – take to the Harp stage for another in the Harp’s regular local music evenings. However, the gig has been cancelled, with little explanation as to the reasons. The cancellation of this show was, incidentally, the catalyst for the Starlight Foundation fundraising show at CBD Bar, as announced by Radar yesterday.

Kuz, drummer for The Good God Damned and organiser of Soundbreak Live, explained what he had been told as to the reasons for Wednesday’s cancellation, saying that a recent change in ownership had been followed by a change in priorities for the Harp.

“Jeb [Taylor, of Music Farmers] said that whatever show was on the other night was going to be the last and that the new owners were going in a karaoke bar direction.”

To lose the Harp, which had largely been filling the hole left by the Oxford in terms of hosting mid-level Australian independent acts, and which had recently started hosting all-local shows, would be another big blow to the local music community. In recent months, the Harp had hosted Parades, Oh Sleeper, The Chariot, The Bedroom Philosopher, Citizen of the Sea, Mary Jane Kelly, Totally Unicorn, Bec Sandridge, Places People and Bennie James.

What this means for the shows already scheduled to be held at the Harp – including the upcoming Tonight Alive/Skyway and Ghostwood/Chicks Who Love Guns gigs – is yet to be seen. Stay tuned for more news as it comes.



  1. Murray says:

    All this and yet no word on why the Over-reactor show was cancelled a few weeks ago, with other bands gigs continuing on afterwards.

    Hopefully the other bands get something as worthwhile out of their cancelled gigs as Over-reactor and Mind at Large did!

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