Religious organisation Hillsong will renovate the iconic Festival Hall building and hold mass at the venue each Sunday upon opening.
With a capacity of over 5,000, the West Melbourne venue has hosted countless live concerts from legendary Australian and international acts including INXS, AC/DC, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rage Against The Machine, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Midnight Oil, Powderfinger, Carl Cox, The Presets, Smashing Pumpkins and many more.
The West Melbourne concert hall was put up for sale almost three years ago and at the time, owner Stadiums Limited said it couldn’t compete with newer venues.
In a YouTube video announcing the purchase on Sunday, Hillsong state pastors Tim and Nicola Douglass said the West Melbourne building had been bought after a years-long search for a home in the city.
“This journey of purchasing this incredible facility started about 18 months ago,” Mr Douglass said.
“We just happened to hear about that it was for sale and started inquiring, thinking that it was a long shot. I mean, we’ve been looking for seven or so years and come up empty-handed.”
Mr Douglass said the proposal appeared to fall through around Christmas last year, but “through a roller coaster of events”, the church managed to buy the building this year.
Hillsong purchasing Festival Hall – another headline for 2020.
— jason (@Jason_UU) October 25, 2020
Tanya Gleeson, an event coordinator at Festival Hall, has since reacted to the story breaking regarding the venue’s sale.
“This week is my last week at Festival Hall with no future employment,” Gleeson tweeted this afternoon.
“I have known about the sale for quite sometime and I must admit today it feels real and sad. Thanks for the memories.”
I have been waiting for an article to be written to comment about this. This week is my last week at Festival Hall with no future employment. I have known about the sale for quite sometime and I must admit today it feels real and sad. Thanks for the memories xxx https://t.co/zWHI5n5XZS
— Tanny (@whatsuptanny) October 25, 2020