Shannon Bennett And Lorenz Grollo Announce New Live Music Venue In Melbourne

Geddes Lane Ballroom

Shannon Bennett and Lorenz Grollo announce Geddes Lane Ballroom, a new live music venue in Melbourne.

All thanks to Shannon Bennett and Lorenz Grollo, a new and very exceptional project is currently underway to unveil a brand new pop-up project which will be restoring live music to an iconic venue. The 400+ venue, includes a ground floor bar and first floor band room that will be situated in the heart of Melbourne. The infamous 170-year-old ex-Showgirls Bar 20 venue will undergo a makeover as part of the King Street Revival (KSR) project, transforming the old building into a vibrant and world class live music venue where music lovers can enjoy live music as well as amazing food and drinks from the menu of Shannon Bennett.

Innovative partnerships are well underway, including development in the world of cashless technology, and there are also plans for a variety of modified vending machines and a green room that is actually green! The doors are set to open with an impressive fanfare and an iconic Melbourne rock act which is yet to be announced, with official entry via Geddes Lane. Other upcoming plans for the site include a takeover of the lane itself with food vans, projections, street art and rotating pop up events set to redefine the historic laneway.

Nowadays many live music venues are closing their doors so the team behind Geddes Lane Ballroom are excited to shine a light on Melbourne and celebrate live music and laneway culture. Even though the venue previously housed Showgirls Bar 20 strip club for the past 20 years, the venue is home to one of Melbourne’s most loved live music venues.

Here at this venue John Farnham’s Whispering Jack album was launched, with thousands of artists including Tina Arena, INXS, Daryl Braithwaite and the Little River Band performing on that same stage over the years.

Geddes Lane Ballroom will be booked by Ben Thompson and Ashlea O’Loughlin.

“We’re excited to be bringing live music back to one of Melbourne’s most popular venues throughout the 80s and 90s”, said Thompson.

“It’s been a hidden gem, centrally located, close to trains and trams and a big carpark with a fantastic tried-and-tested band room. We’re doing some acoustic treatments, putting in a world class PA and cleaning the place up. Live music fans will love it. With the loss of so many live music venues over the last 10 years including quality smaller rooms like Ding Dong Lounge and Shebeen, there aren’t many options out there. People need the option to come into the city and experience original live music. The venue will be open to all conceivable genres of music from local, national and international acts and we have some surprise shows planned for summer.”

Shannon Bennett and Lorenz Grollo announce Geddes Lane Ballroom
Shannon Bennett and Lorenz Grollo

Grollo Group CEO Lorenz Grollo is determined to restore world class and sophistication to the iconic venue.

“Our inhouse team are completing cosmetic and compliance works only. But for the removal of some ‘choice’ objects and elements from its former use, we’re deliberately embracing the wonderful bones of this 1850’s Melbourne icon, after all how many live music venues can claim to be 170 years old and once a notorious strip club?” Grollo said.

Bennett has given an insight into what we can look forward to devouring on the feasting front.

“We’ll be presenting great food that has a social conscious, is sustainable and good for you, and it’ll be fast food. And think retro drinks like Japanese slippers that were in fact invented in Melbourne, seriously tasty local beers, local produce, our Benny burger will be a huge feature and we are designing our own vending food machines offering salad bowls, Lui bar sausage rolls and heaps more,” Bennett said.

Grollo was asked about how the Grollo / Bennett partnership came about, he joked, “never underestimate the sparks of lateral brilliance that come from meetings with Shannon Bennett!”

Excited about Geddes Lane Ballroom, Grollo says “Geddes Lane Ballroom is an initiative under our King Street Revival (KSR) project. We’re passionate about cleaning up King Street ‘one pole at a time’, and delivering a fun and safe food and entertainment precinct for all Melburnians to enjoy. For too long King Street has been known for all the wrong reasons. We’re now going to put it back on the map for reasons we can be proud of. Geddes Lane Ballroom, alongside our KSR Residency & Bar (artist residency for and curated by prominent street art and fine art muralist Cam Scale), are the first big steps on our KSR journey.”

Geddes Lane Ballroom is bringing the music back! The calendar is now open for bookings, with the band room set to officially open to the public over the next coming months.

Get your first look at Geddes Lane Ballroom here:

To get in first on venue news and shows, join the Geddes Lane Ballroom mailing list here:

For bookings and further information, please contact: Ashlea O’Loughlin and Ben Thompson:

Will you be going along to this amazing venue? Let us know by commenting below.

– Written by Samia Sahid


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