MILESAGO - Performance - Venues - Sydney



Driver Avenue, Moore Park, NSW

The Hordern Pavilion is one of Sydney's best-loved entertainment landmarks and operates under the auspices of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, although it is now now part of the controversial Fox Studios complex, which took over the RAS Showground site in the late 1990s.

Over the last forty years, the Hordern has been synonymous with live entertainment and it has hosted some of the most important concert tours of the last 30 years. The building's imposing dome-like roof, Doric columns and Roman railings distinguish it from other venues. The recent refurbishment of the Hordern has introduced an increased level of comfort for both artists and audiences.

It was constructed in 1924 to provide a new industrial hall to accommodate the increasing demands for exhibition space in the Showground. The building was officially opened to the public for the Easter Show in 1924 and was named in commemoration of the retail firm of Anthony Hordern and Sons Ltd, and Sir Samuel Hordern, who was president of the Royal Agricultural Society from 1915 to 1941. The Hordern family had a long association with the Royal Agricultural Society through most of the 20th century.

In keeping with the machinery precinct in which it was located and complimenting the Royal Hall of Industries, it was designed with the intention of exhibiting vehicles and trucks. The concrete floor, large doors and large open interior reflect this purpose. The building is designed in the Inter War Academic Classical Style with rendered masonry classical detailing both internally and externally, fluted doric columns, parapet and imposing central vaulted roof with lantern.

In line with its intended purpose, the first exhibition held at the Hordern Pavilion, in 1924, focused on industrial products and motor vehicles. It was a celebration of the progress of industry, technology and enterprise. Electric lights, wireless broadcasting and the latest motor cars.

The Hordern was the major indoor concert venue in Sydney during the period between the demolition of the famous Sydney Stadium at Rushcutter's Bay in 1970 and the completion of the much larger 12,000-seat Sydney Entertainment Centre in Haymarket, and it remains in regular use to this day for medium-sized concerts by both local and overseas acts.

In 1972 the Hordern underwent modifications to convert the building to a multi-function venue. The majority of columns were removed and replaced with a new truss system, false ceilings were installed and a bar and ticketing boxes, together with a mezzanine corporate box area, were constructed and seating capacity was increased to 5,300. It played host to a variety of events, including ballet recitals, 'world series' wrestling, and numerous concerts by some of the world's leading performers.

The Hordern Pavilion has accrued enormous social significance to the people of Sydney for its multi purpose exhibition, social and entertainment uses since its construction.

Following the Royal Easter Show's move to its new Homebush site, the Hordern Pavilion was handed over to the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, who have subsequently invested over $12.5 million redeveloping this historic landmark into a state-of the-art entertainment venue. The Hordern Pavilion redevelopment incorporated a complete internal and external facelift from the roof to the floor, not only giving it a new lease of life as an entertainment venue in its own right, but also making it an integral part of the surrounding Fox Studios Entertainment Precinct.

One of the most important tasks during the redevelopment project centred around the refurbishment of the Pavilion's internal floor. Due to the age of the building and the 'piece-meal' nature of the floor's construction over many years, the existing floor was uneven and badly degraded, making it both unattractive and unsuitable for use with the planned movable seating and staging systems.



Major Concerts 1964-75

1971 - Procol Harum

September 1972 - Cat Stevens

March 1973 - Yes

September 1973 - Procol Harum

July 1972 - Jethro Tull

June 1973 - Frank Zappa

November 1973 - T-Rex

? 1974 - Supertramp

February 1974 - The Faces

June 1974 - Cat Stevens

August 1974 - Lou Reed (Support: AC/DC)

August 1974 - Jethro Tull

November 1974 - Black Sabbath (Support: AC/DC)

April 1975 - Eric Clapton

July 1975 - Lou Reed

October 1975 - Status Quo

November 1975 - Deep Purple

November 1975 - Paul McCartney & Wings


References / Links

Playbill Venues - Hordern Pavilion