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Plans to Host a Series of Big Live Music Events at This Thornbury Sports Club Have Been Put on Hold

The operators have locked horns with local council over permits and licences.
By Libby Curran
September 26, 2019
By Libby Curran
September 26, 2019

When boutique music agency Novel announced plans to host a series of big live music events in Thornbury earlier this year, it had music lovers across the city excited. But those parties and shows have been thrown on the back-burner, as the company goes head-to-head with the local council.

The shows were set to take place in the sports arena of a decades-old Italian club called the Furlan Club — which is already licensed to host events — under the banner Thornbury Social Club. The space regularly hosts weddings, sporting events and private functions.

Novel christened the venue with a Smalltown outing in May and had plans to host its next show — with big-name German DJ Stephan Bodzin — this Thursday, September 26. But that's been relocated, after Darebin City Council took the Furlan Club to VCAT, saying that by hosting the event, the club would be operating outside of its permits.

The show, now happening this Saturday, September 28, has been moved to The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne — and a hefty 2400 punters have already RSVPd.


Darebin City Council says it has been trying to engage with both the Furlan Club and Novel since May to make sure all the proper permissions were in place for Thornbury Social Club events. The Council is mainly concerned about patron safety, venue management plans and liquor licensing, and says it never received a permit application to host events of such a big scale as the Bodzin gig. As for what the future holds, a council spokesperson told Concrete Playground that "council is open to working with the event organiser and venue operator in the future should they decide to seek the appropriate permissions".

On the other side of the court, Novel's director Daniel Teuma told Concrete Playground that the Furlan Club believed its existing permits were sufficient for all planned Thornbury Social Club events, and that the roadblock was unwarranted. "The council's reason behind the rejection of events were based on the the club operating as nightclub, which were completely inaccurate," Teuma said.

But, it looks like things are looking up for the Thornbury Social Club. While a VCAT hearing is scheduled for 2020, Teuma says that based on "recent positive dialogue" between the two parties, it looks set to be scrapped and we'll likely see Novel events at the space "in 2020 and beyond".

Novel Presents Stephen Bodzin is going ahead at Port Melbourne's The Timber Yard this Saturday, September, with tickets still available. We'll let you know if when any future Thornbury Social Club events are announced.

Images: Novel.

Published on September 26, 2019 by Libby Curran


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