Revolt's base, in Kensington's iconic 19th Century Younghusband Factory, has been recently refurbished by a collective of creative arts personnel, who have drawn upon their years of experience to develop this performing arts space.
“Revolt Melbourne’s mission is to nurture and support an active, vibrant and sustainable arts industry hub, committed to presenting productions, performances and events that are designed to inspire.” Revolt Productions Mission Statement
How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?
The space was previously in use as an open plan function centre by producer William May, who offered the space to high end corporate clients for large scale events. Revolt Productions Artistic Director, Ryan Hodge was contracted to provide technical services for a few of the Number 12 events, and immediately saw the potential of the space.
Some years later when Ryan was looking for a base for Revolt Productions he discovered that the space at Number 12 had recently become available for lease and contacted the property manager of the building to discuss opportunities.
What was required to secure the space?
An application was made to the leasing agent for Revolt Productions to take occupancy of the space. We needed to show what our plan was for the space and demonstrate that finance was available to cover the cost of the lease and outgoings.
What needed to be provided by you as hirer or user of the space?
A solid business plan demonstrating our intentions for the space was one of the most important aspects. We also had to have several different types of insurance to cover all of the activities that would take place, from the refurbishing stage to then making the space available for hire or open to the public.
We also had to apply for a planning permit to allow us to operate a food and beverage business in the premises, and a liquor licence, as there was not one attached to the premises.
What were the costs?
Insurance Premiums, Legal Advice Fees, Monthly Lease and Outgoings Costs, Staff and Contractors and Town Planner Fees.
What were the resources available to you?
The main resources available was the experience of our team, who were able to plan and build most of the project themselves, helping save costs. We also received enormous help and support from other arts organisations.
Who helped you to fit it out?
Friends and family with any know-how helped where possible and all went above and beyond the call of duty. Catering company Marekai Events kindly donated catering equipment and advice. The Store Room Theatre in Fitzroy passed on their theatre seating when they closed down. Melbourne DJ Beny Fogarty donated equipment in our sound set up.
What were/are the obstacles?
About six months into the build we experienced major storm damage and flooding, putting our schedule back well over a few months with major floor damage. We also encountered some resistance from local residents, who were concerned that we were setting up a nightclub that would destroy the amenity of the area. The time taken to obtain bank finance, process council permits and the liquor license were also major obstacles, pushing our schedule back some months.
Opposition from some people living in the vicinity of the venue arose because they were of the misunderstanding that the venue was going to be operating as a nightclub and not a performance and visual arts venue. Forty objections were submitted against the inclusion of food and beverage in the current permit agreements. Open communication between all stakeholders and support from the City of Melbourne was the key to dispelling any misconceptions and promote Revolt Melbourne’s vision to nurture and support an active, vibrant and sustainable arts industry hub committed to showcasing quality creative and performing arts events.
What were/are the risks?
The Young Husband building is located in Kensington area which is currently undergoing a building and rezoning review, which could impact on the leasing arrangements when the 2013 renewal date arrives. The age of the building also makes it susceptible to adverse weather conditions, requiring ongoing maintenance and attention.