Live Nation Australasia is pleased to announce Lloyd Jones as the new Venue Manager of St Kilda’s iconic Palais Theatre. With nine years of experience in the industry, we asked Lloyd about his vision and plans for the Palais.
How long have you been working in venues? I fell into working in venues when I relocated from Sydney to Melbourne in 2011 and started in a Venue Operations job for Tutankhamun Exhibition at Melbourne Museum. From there I have been involved with venues in one way or another in various roles at the Arts Centre, Federation Square and Ticketmaster. Then in 2013, I joined the Palais Theatre where I started as an Event Manager. I left Australia for a two-year stint in New York and then returned to the Palais Theatre last year as Venue Manager.
What do you love about working at Palais Theatre / Live Nation? The Palais Theatre is the one place of work where I have truly felt at home. What makes it so great is the history and the stories, and that each day is different. I love being part of a wonderful team that creates memories for people that they will hold onto for the rest of their lives. Getting paid to do that, is pretty amazing!
What’s your vision for the Palais? My vision for the Palais is to ensure the venue remains an iconic and world-class arts and live music venue while preserving the history of this special space for generations to come.
What are the challenges facing historic venues like Palais? With a historic venue like the Palais Theatre, there can be many catch 22 situations. We can embrace the amazing history and iconic nature of this beautiful place yet we are also constantly needing to consider how improvements will work with heritage and the limitations of operating in a space built in 1927. Upgrading is a little more challenging, yet it is totally worth it when you see patrons come into the venue and soak up the sheer beauty of the place.
What exciting projects do you have coming up this year? We have a bunch of really exciting projects this year that will continue to improve the experience of both hirers and patrons at the venue to ensure the continued success and longevity of the theatre. We are upgrading our seating in the downstairs auditorium, to make it even more comfortable for fans. We are resurfacing the stage, which will aid in all our shows but for dance shows in particular. And we are working with the City of Port Phillip who has committed funding for the restoration and upgrade of the bathrooms in our foyers to their original glory which includes additional new bathroom space.
Tell us about the Palais Theatre Community Fund? The Palais Theatre Community Fund was set up by Live Nation Venues Australia in arrangement with the City of Port Phillip to help fund and support the local community. This is made possible by the Palais Theatre donating 50c of every ticket to the fund, and then on a quarterly basis, our Community Fund committee (which involves members of the local community and Palais Theatre) review submissions and allocate these funds. We have seen the money over the last few years go to a wide variety of community organisations from sporting clubs to the arts and it’s our way to really give back our diverse and thriving local community.
What makes St Kilda’s music scene so special and unique? St Kilda has been an extremely important entertainment hub in Melbourne since the early 1900s. The area is home to artists across all forms and throughout the years has created its own grunge and grit signature feel. The Palais Theatre has sat amongst it since 1927 (this version, there were two before it) and many of Melbourne’s collective historic music moments were formed by the bay here.
Is there a dream artist you want to see play the Palais? Robyn (we are open for bookings).
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a rider? “A picture of Queen Elizabeth in the Dressing Room” from an artist not to be named.
What is the best gig you’ve been to and why? Alanis Morissette at the Palais Theatre. She was one of the first artists I really started following (not just Jagged Little Pill phase) and it was always a dream to see her live, so to have her come to the Palais was awesome.
What three acts should we have on our Spotify playlist right now? Sigrid – Scandinavian Pop at its finest, Emily King – always inspired by her and Francis and the Lights -I can listen to them over and over.