COVID-19 has claimed one of Newcastle's premier concert venues with 48 Watt Street expected to soon announce its decision to cease booking live music.
The Newcastle Herald understands COVID restrictions on audience numbers and the high cost of live performances have caused the financially-stricken venue to concentrate on other aspects of their business moving forward.
Newcastle country singer-songwriter Catherine Britt was supposed to launch her new independent album Home Truths on Friday night at 48 Watt Street, but was told on Tuesday afternoon the near sold-out show had to be cancelled.
Britt later took to social media to vent her anger over the gig's cancellation.
"I felt like I had to say something, it's just not right to treat artists like that," Britt said. "It's just such a big deal to do this to someone right before the event."
The booking agent for 48 Watt Street assisted Britt in moving the album launch to the Hamilton Station Hotel on Friday night. However, Hamilton Station Hotel's COVID-safe gig capacity is smaller than 48 Watt Street.
A live stream of the album launch can be purchased from Britt's website.
Several other concerts booked for 48 Watt Street and the attached Small Ballroom, are also expected to be cancelled. They include Jack Botts on February 14, Alex James Bowen on January 30 and Maitland's Dave Wells on February 19.
The first two shows were announced in the past week.
The owners of 48 Watt Street did not response to a request for comment and Kingdom Sounds, the venue's booking agency, declined to speak.