Popular inclusive bar in Port Adelaide to close its doors (for now)

CONFESSION, a beloved live entertainment venue and basement bar nightclub in the heart of Port Adelaide is closing its doors to its weekly offering this weekend.

CONFESSION, a cherished live entertainment venue and basement bar nightclub in the heart of Port Adelaide, has announced its impending closure, marking the end of an era for its weekly offerings.

The pop-up bar that was home to the world’s first wheelchair dance floor, arrived in Port Adelaide and on The Fringe scene back in 2022, and as September last year opened permanently to the public Friday and Saturday nights.

Before opening to the public, the venue which is run out of an 1850s church went through a complete overhaul, installing a new bar, upgrading the sound system and creating a green room space for performers so their experience is top notch. Their key focus for CONFESSION was accessibility, inclusivity and going above and beyond for its customers and performers alike.

Citing insurmountable challenges, CONFESSION voices concern for the broader hospitality industry, not only within Port Adelaide but across Adelaide as a whole.

Owner and principal facilitator of CONFESSION, Shane Hryhorec, reflects on the closure with a heavy heart, expressing solidarity with the performers and staff who will be affected by this turn of events.

“I am deeply concerned for all the performers and staff who will be without work owing to this situation,” Hryhorec says. “My heart goes out especially to those band members and performers with disabilities, who face a significant challenge in finding alternative employment due to the scarcity of accessible venues in Adelaide.”

Hryhorec says there’s a lack of support and funding from Local, State, and Federal Governments as a critical issue exacerbating the plight of businesses like CONFESSION.

“We are in an economic crisis, and businesses are crying out for support,” he remarks. “Our pleas have not been answered. We hope to resurrect CONFESSION when we see the economy improve and when Governments listen, whenever that might be.”

Hryhorec sites the recent announcement of an increase in liquor taxes as one of the challenges faced by hospitality venues like CONFESSION, dealing a severe blow to what was once regarded as South Australia’s most inclusive and accessible nightlife destination.

However the state government’s newly announced “See It LIVE” grant for live music venues like COFESSIONS (offering $850,000 distributed among twenty live music venues) is designed to help.

To enhance the project’s success, the Music Development Office and the Office for Small and Family Business have partnered to offer free business advisory services to funding recipients like CONFESSION. This initiative comes as part of the government’s $14 million Small Business Strategy and is designed to assist small venue owners in managing and expanding their businesses effectively.

But, Hryhorec says there’s still a significant gap in its coverage in terms of operating costs.

Although CONFESSION will cease its Friday and Saturday night offerings, the venue will remain available for private functions and whole venue events. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out for further details.

Hyrhorec remains committed to reopening CONFESSION in the future, to the future reopening of CONFESSION, eagerly awaiting a brighter economy. Noting that inflation is starting to stabilise, he emphasises the ongoing need for significant economic improvement.

Doors will be opening for one last time on Saturday, 13th April 2024.

For private events and functions, simply email [email protected] or send
us a message on the CONFESSION Facebook or Instagram page.

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