For over 12 years La Boheme has been a space for the creation and celebration of art in every form, and particularly in the intimate form of cabaret. Our well-loved cocktail bar has always been a thriving place for community and congregation of diverse people and has supported our Arts focus so that artists can continue to produce and develop work, and well-known names can include us on their show circuit.
While La Boheme continues to thrive and be loved as a performance venue, over the last few years the income from our bar has become less and less reliable. The new small bar category saw 160 new small bar licenses (and counting) in the city square, and with the closure of Her Majesty’s had a debilitating impact on our trade. We’ve streamlined everything, and got a coffee house in during the day, but its still not enough in the face of the huge amount of new bars all competing for a static amount of people. It’s been really tough but we’ve fought with every fibre and sequin of our being to stay open.
La Boheme is also facing the sale of the building we are in. Like other iconic Arts venues in Adelaide, eg The Jade Monkey and Rhino Room, we might find ourselves homeless – and then we face relocation costs! Without your help we won’t survive a move either. And, like many other arts venues, I and my brothers have barely made back our initial investment, let alone drawn a wage from keeping La Boheme open over the years. We love what we’ve created and we want it to continue, to keep being a home for artists, a drawcard for shows from all over the world, the home of the largest Cabaret Fringe Festival in Australia (and possibly the world) and some of the best cabaret, jazz, classical music, impro theatre you will see in Adelaide.
The building owners have given us until 18th March to settle some outstanding rent, or the doors will close forever. Beyond that date, we still need the support of our community to keep La Boheme going, and afford to relocate later if we need to. With your help we can stay open beyond Fringe, and our Lighthouse on the hill wish is to run the 12th Cabaret Fringe Festival from La Boheme in June – if it ends up being our last on Grote St, we’d love it to be a big one. Our hope is to be able to keep going until Her Majesty's opens in early 2020 - and be a key part of the renewed arts precinct in Grote St!
If donating is not for you, please come in and have a drink, and see one of our excellent Fringe shows (link to Fringe program below). Please also share pictures on facebook (and tag us) of your times and memories at our iconic bar. If you’d like to speak to me please get in touch via email.
Paul for LaBoheme
- Zoe Pap
- Dylan Hammerstein
- Amy Johns
- rachel sanderson
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