You read correctly – The Pav has closed in Cork! With a number of venues closed in the last month alone we were especially disappointed to see this happen. It was a fine example of dedication to the thriving and talented music scene but also an unfortunate example of the struggles Irish businesses deal with on a daily basis. With not a lot of alternative options it’s important we remember and support the venues that put quality first. Let the Pav be our inspiration!
Having given a home to all sorts of genres its unique space was enjoyed by many as a place to kick back and let go while listening to quality music. Unlike many venues that are hesitant to veer from the IMRO playlists and top radio hits, the Pav was never afraid to stray from the norm, as well as get all the classic hits in too. And it seemed to be working! Great food during the day, quality music in the bar downstairs and the club supporting locals doing their thing or hosting some of the world’s greats.
I caught up with Stevie Grainger who was one of the main men behind the Pav to find out more:
Why have you had to close so suddenly and is this the end for the Pavillion as we know it?
We simply could not afford to keep running the venue. It’s very tough running any small to medium business in Ireland but a music venue such as ours was struggling financially for ages. We got tied into high rents early on as we opened at the worst possible time just as the economy was going bad and by the time it started recovering we were always fighting an uphill battle.
Have the licencing laws regarding opening hours influenced the decision to close?
No, but the licencing laws have made it 50% harder for us to break even. They are archaic and frankly embarrassing licencing laws. I’m completely embarrassed when tourists come here and are just starting a great night and they are told to go home. It’s a joke. But we don’t blame this.
What do you think of the music scene in Cork and do you think other venues have as open a music policy as the Pav did?
The Cork music scene is great and is better than ever for me. There are still some wonderful venues doing open minded things such as Gulp’d, Coughlans, Crane Lane etc but obviously the Pav was very special and is a one of a kind building.
Any particular moment that you’ll always remember?
Kanye Wests visit is the obvious one but I’ll always remember Sly and Robbie’s gig there. Amazing. Other than that, just going in there nearly every night and hearing some great bands, many of them local, doing their thing.
What advice would you have for other business owners and promoters? Would you do anything differently?
I’d do a million things differently but sadly it’s hard for music people to keep their dream alive and put on the gigs they want. I’ll always advise people to stick to their passion and I will do the same as much as I can and still run shows, but it’s hard. I never cared much about making loads of money but for myself and the others involved, we certainly didn’t want to lose so much either. It’s a shame but hopefully other people with good business expertise will run with the baton and keep trying.
Thanks to Stevie for the words and to the Pav team for hosting such an eclectic mix of music. Let’s hope the new owners sustain the buzz and keep the place alive. And of course, huge well done to all the Pav team for doing what they could with a tricky situation. Keep an eye on their Facebook to find out about rescheduled events.
Our electronic needs were catered for by DubCulture, Bstardo Electrico, Rise Up, Electric Underground, Evolution, Go Deep and more bringing the likes of Pariah, Surgeon, Ben Klock, Jerome Hill, Synkro, Pinch and more to fill the void. All residents are incredibly talented and we look forward to hearing them in a new home. Keep an eye on our Gig Wall to find more tune antics in Ireland.