10 Years Young: Supporting Live Music
Venue 505 is an artist run performance space focussing on quality performance and community engagement & development. At the heart of what we do is support for original artists.
How we came to Cleveland Street
Venue 505 had its birth in Sydney’s inner-city where it operated an 'underground' performance space from 2004–2009. In this time we offered a platform for contemporary music artists to present original works to new and dedicated audiences. We presented not only over 350 local acts, but also played host to some of the best internationally renowned artists. We quickly became the go to stop-off for artists on arena tours wanting to connect with local musicians and audiences while in town.
Established by Kerri Glasscock and Cameron Undy, 505 was developed as an artist run performance/workshop space for Sydney based musicians and theatrical performers. It was created as a meeting place for artists from two genres (music and theatre) to see each other’s work and initiate collaborations.
After five increasingly successful years of performances and audience development, 505 moved out from the shadows and initiated an exciting new venture. Opening in early 2010, Venue 505 as you now know it, has come to be known as Sydney’s only 100% performance-focused, artist run live music venue, and a critical part of Sydney’s music landscape. It is a space from which to support the local community of inner-city artists, musicians, performers, and audiences.
With the music program ﬁnding a new home on Cleveland Street at the beginning of 2011, 505 launched a new theatre space – The Old 505 Theatre – in the original venue. It continues to offer independent theatre practitioners a space to develop and present new work, focusing on new Australian and devised works.
More than just a venue
Both venues now play a vital role in the cultural landscape of Sydney, presenting over 350 performances and productions every year to thousands of audience members.
When the doors ﬁrst opened in 2004 we couldn’t imagine that we were about to become part of the Sydney’s incredible Independent arts community.
This community is warm, varied, spectacular, strange, exceptional, inviting and, above all else, new!
It is sometimes disheartening that this community can often be hidden, ﬂying beneath the wider cultural radar, and not included in main stage festival programs and mainstream venues in this city.
Within the independent artist community there are many different organisations that speak for numerous artistic forms and groups. It is these artists that truly, and presently, represent the breadth of Sydney’s art scene.
More than just landmarks in their own right, Venue 505 and The Old 505 Theatre have helped shape the arts and entertainment environment itself. We have been involved in amending Council laws and advised State Government on the needs of local artists and Sydney's creative community and continues to be part of the ongoing discussion to make Sydney’s Independent arts sectors vibrant, viable and sustainable. The City of Sydney has encouraged the development of creative precincts within the city, and 505 sees itself as a vital central hub within the creative village of Surry Hills.
A venue of and for the community
Our audience base, comprised of artists, local arts supporters and travellers, has developed into one of the most dedicated, respectful and committed in Australia.
Venue 505 offers artists and musicians a place to hear colleagues play and, having built a solid reputation for our high caliber program. it offers local audiences a quality live music experience.
This underpins our ability to nurture a number of not-for-proﬁts, artist-run associations, and independent musicians and performers, by giving them a refreshing home where performance and creation of new work takes precedence over bar sales, big screen televisions and gambling.
Importantly, it is a space from which these organisations and artists can take themselves to the next level by publicising and promoting their work to the wider community, and developing their artists’ voice in a dedicated cultural facility.
Our team is committed to offering a performance-focused venue that is artist orientated. A testament to the success of this model is that we have proven that an artist run space can be managed in a commercially viable and responsible manner.
Our mix of quality artistic programming and sound management has seen Venue 505 become Sydney's most respected and popular performance space, gain support from various levels of government and become a leading promoter of new Australian content.
Venue 505 has been listed as one of the top 150 Jazz Clubs in the world by DownBeat Magazine (U.S.A) for the past three years running. The Club was also featured as a must visit spot in the 2013 Lonely Planet guide to Sydney, and was awarded a highly commended at Time Out Magazine’s 2012 Bar Awards for Best Entertainment Venue.
The people behind 505
Co-founding 505 in 2004, Kerri Glasscock and Cameron Undy continue as directors over a decade later. Together, they have grown the organisation from a one night a week underground venue into two full-time professional performance spaces now presenting six nights a week of local, interstate and international acts, as well as some of Australia’s most cutting edge, independent theatre. Across the two venues, 505 now presents over 320 productions and events every year.
Beyond the walls of 505 Kerri Glasscock has worked in various roles in the Sydney arts scene for the past 15 years. She has worked as an actor in film/television and theatre since 1997. Appearing in numerous works as varied as Capricornia in 2005 (Company B) to Home and Away in 1998. Over the past five years she has worked with the Old 505 Theatre Co and appeared in critically acclaimed works Seeing Unseen, The Twelfth Dawn and Ride.
Her commitment to the arts sector increased on a grass roots level when she started working in arts administration in her early 20s as:
- Arts Administrator: Newtown Entertainment Precinct Association (2004-2006)
- The Seymour Centre (2004-2007)
- Manager: The Sound Lounge (2005-2007)
- General Manager: The Jazzgrove Association (2007-2012)
- Festival Director: Jazzgroove Summer Festival (2009-2012)
Most recently, Kerri was appointed a three year tenure as the Festival Director of the Sydney Fringe Festival from 2013.
Kerri was included in the Sydney Morning Herald's Sydney Magazine annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List of 2011. A vocal advocate for the independent sector she also sits on a number of boards and committees including:
City Recital Hall Board of Directors (2015), Joint Live Music Task Force Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils (2014) and Lord Mayor of Sydney's Live Music and Performance Task Force (2013).
Cameron carved out a formidable career as a bassist in the 90s in Australia playing with 'all' the luminaries and prodigies of the day from Mike Nock to James Morrison. He spent the early part of the 2000s travelling and performing throughout Europe with the 'Nu Jazz' wave of dance floor artists, returning to co-found 505 in 2004. His performance and musical programming continues to draw on diverse musical experiences in jazz, rock, funk, afro-beat, dance and world music.)
Cameron was included in the Sydney Morning Herald's ‘Sydney Magazine’ Annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List of 2011.