Peita Houlihan, Anastassijah Scales, Malcolm Fine and John Paterson.
Peita Houlihan, Anastassijah Scales, Malcolm Fine and John Paterson.

Winsome - the day the music revived

The music is not dead and there is more beer at the Winsome Hotel. For a trial period over the next few months, Friday and Saturday nights will see DJs continue to play booty-shakin' tunes for dance-starved punters at the Lismore venue. Although the Lismore Soup Kitchen is in the process of buying the Winsome, new licensee Malcolm Fine has teamed up with Dolphin Award-winning DJ Magoo and has re-opened the venue for only two nights a week to minimise costs.

“We wanted to save the Winsome and it makes a change to have the electronic music back,” Mr Fine said. “Last weekend, local trance DJ Dreamweaver played and we hope to hold trance nights twice monthly on Saturdays.”

As the North Coast Entertainment Industry Association (NCEIA) events co-ordinator, Mr Fine hopes to expand the operating hours to include Thursday nights, when Conservatorium, university student and NCEIA bands such as Dolphin Award entrants and winners can be showcased.

“We wanted to promote and maintain the local live music industry,” he said.

If the trial opening period goes well, Mr Fine hopes that the musical activities can continue to coexist in the future with the Soup Kitchen and homeless shelter.

“Both NCEIA and the Soup Kitchen are not-for-profit organisations,” Mr Fine said. “Department of Housing residents will continue to live upstairs and it's possible we can co-exist independent of each other. We plan to secure the bar area outside of the club opening hours, and the only real change is that the restaurant will now be used as a soup kitchen.”

Mr Fine said that while late night noise could potentially be a problem to residents, president of the Soup Kitchen Ridley Bell had said it was likely that the shelter's residents wouldn't have any issues with it. With plans to buy the old funeral parlour across the road from the Winsome Hotel, Mr Fine said he was prepared to open a new club there with his nightclub alcohol licence.

“In one way or another the music scene will be maintained by NCEIA - Lismore won't lose it,” he said.

With plans to call the building the Winsome Community Centre, John Paterson, general manager of the Lismore Soup Kitchen said that he liked the idea of being able to come to the Winsome on a Thursday night and listen to local live music. The Winsome will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 2.30am, with DJs beginning at 9pm.


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