World News – AU – Hillsong Church purchases iconic Melbourne Festival Hall


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The West Melbourne Concert Hall, which has hosted artists ranging from the Beatles to Ed Sheeran, went on sale almost three years ago

In a YouTube video announcing the purchase on Sunday, Hillsong State Pastors Tim and Nicola Douglass said the West Melbourne building was purchased after years of house hunting in the city

« This buying journey of this incredible facility began about 18 months ago, » said M Douglass

« We just found out by chance that it was for sale and we started to inquire, thinking it was long I mean we have been looking for about seven years and arrived empty-handed »

M Douglass said the proposal appeared to have failed around Christmas last year, but « thanks to a roller coaster of events » the church was able to buy the building this year

« The cool thing about buying the festival hall is that it will continue to be the festival hall, » he says

« He has served the people of this city at various events over the years and will continue to do so

« We just happen to be the church that buys it and continues to serve, but we also see it being the house of God on Sunday »

Artists who graced the venue’s scene include Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Johnny Cash, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Justin Timberlake, the Foo Fighters and Lorde

It has also hosted wrestling and boxing matches with Lionel Rose and Anthony Mundine, and an indoor tennis exhibition with John McEnroe

It was destroyed by fire in 1955 – 40 years after it opened But it was rebuilt in time to accommodate gymnastics and wrestling at the Olympics next year

Hillsong founder Brian Houston said the building needed a lot of work and the church was hoping to renovate it

When the building first went on sale in 2018, Stadiums Limited applied for a permit to demolish it and replace it with two 16-story apartment towers

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


World News – UA – Hillsong Church purchases iconic Melbourne Festival Hall



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