Live outdoor music back

Andy Pobjoy. (Rebecca Hosking) 215387_01

By Luke Voogt

The sounds of jazz will reverberate in a central Geelong laneway beginning today at 12pm after City Hall issued an outdoor permit for Piano Bar.

Piano Bar owner Andy Pobjoy welcomed locals to enjoy free live music, along with surrounding cafes and eateries, in Little Malop Street’s “west end” amid eased COVID-19 restrictions.

“Since early March, live music has fallen silent across our region,” he said.

“Bringing live music to the laneways of central Geelong symbolises this colourful, vibrant part of our CBD springing back into life after its COVID hibernation.

“As restrictions on outdoor gatherings ease and the weather warms up, now represents the perfect opportunity to take Piano Bar to the streets.”

The music venue will open outdoors for Laneway Jazz today in Minns Place, with a pop-up bar operating in a vacant building in the laneway.

City Hall has issued a permit for the outdoor performances to run from midday to 6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of 2020.

After months of live-streaming free shows online from Piano Bar, Mr Pobjoy said he planned for an initial six-week run of outdoor performances

“Whilst Piano Bar has worked feverishly through restrictions, live-streaming shows and operating with drastically-reduced numbers, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The laneway will have capacity to host 50 guests seated in line with state government density requirements.

Piano Bar operators will manage the space to ensure compliance with all COVID-19 safety requirements, according to City Hall.

The permit comes after the Independent this month revealed a council project to extend Dennys Place had been delayed five years by acquisition negotiations.

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