Beloved Sydney ‘small bar’ and performance space Freda’s is closing this month after 9 years of operation
After nine years and an unquantifiable impact on the Sydney music scene, beloved bar Freda’s has announced it is closing this month, shutting its doors for the final time on November 21.
Owner David Abram has released the following statement today:
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Freda’s in Chippendale will be closing on the 21st November 2020.
After surviving 5 years of lock outs, red tape, rising rents and an exodus of youth from the city centre, Freda’s had finally been flourishing after receiving one of Sydney’s first 4am licences (outside the casino) since the heady days of the Olympics. We had been looking forward to by far our most successful and stable year ever. Boy were we wrong.
Although we could not foresee an international pandemic, it had already become clear to us that we were not part of the long term plans for our building. The 100 year old warehouse we have inhabited, as is the way for many grassroots cultural spaces, will eventually become a memory to the high rise construction that is likely to envelop Chippendale in the next 10 years.
But if it is to only become a memory, then at least it is of the deep, visceral and transcendent, as opposed to stale and flavourless. Of good times, expression, freedom, connection, music, performance, art and most importantly dancing! It is easy to forget in this most restrictive of times that dancing is the most human of behaviours. An opportunity to be completely free, if just for a moment. To connect with each other regardless of background, gender, or politics. If Freda’s is to be remembered as just one thing, it will be as a room for dancing.
But Freda’s was so much more. It provided a platform and stage for live music and musicians, for emerging artists in our basement gallery Down Under, and for DJs playing for the first time to those playing on some of the worlds best stages.
As immensely proud we are to have showcased so much incredible music and talent, a stage is nothing without an audience. And what a beautiful audience you have been. We have been so lucky that this dark room down a back alley in sleepy Chippendale drew such an alive, engaged and diverse audience. No agro, no fighting, no ego, just love.
There are so many people to thank, and over the course of these farewell weeks we will highlight you all, however without question the most important people on this journey are my parents Freda and Phil. Both immigrants and holocaust survivors of humble beginnings, they have taught me you can make creativity the centre of your life and succeed. No matter the odds. I couldn’t have done this without you.
Finally, while we are saying goodbye to a beloved space, this isn’t goodbye forever. When one door closes, another one opens. We will see you again soon.”
Freda’s was opened in 2011 by owner David Abram and the Chippendale premises was expanded in 2017 to include a basement art space ‘Down Under’ which went on to host hundreds of shows for artists often presenting their works publicly for the first time. Over the past five years, Freda’s had become a mainstay of Vivid Festival’s focus on smaller venues hosting events from some of Sydney’s most renowned party promoters, culture makers, and record labels including Vibe Positive, Extra Silky, Heavenly, Pure Space, Best Effort, and even us here at Purple Sneakers.
Freda’s will be saying goodbye to Chippendale with a three week ‘Festival of Freda’s’ featuring some of their all time favourite nights and artists including Rimbombo, Gauci, Heavenly, Vibe Positive, Pelvis, and the Freda’s much loved House Band.
Festival of Freda’s will release its full line up and ticket details across socials, Instagram and Facebook, with ticket information online at www.fredas.com.au.
KEY EVENT DETAILS:
Festival of Freda’s
6-21 November 2020
6/11 – Disco Bongo: Last Night of Disco w. Andy Webb (Disco Delicious), Keep It Disco & Honey Point
7/11 – Full Moon: Freda’s Final Birthday w. Pelvis, Lauren Hansom, Rimbombo & Precious Metal ft. Fascinator (Live)
13/11 – Gauci (Live) + Freedom Sounds w. Mike Who & Mike Who
14/11 – Ben Fester & friends
20/11 – Vibe Positive
21/11 – Freda’s: The End w. Freda’s House Band (Live), Simon Caldwell, DJ Crabby & DJ Salami
Image by Imogen Grist