Temporary closure

In response to heightened concerns relating to the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to inform our audience and community that The SUBSTATION will be closed to the public until further notice.

While we regret that this closure will impact on our current exhibition (Reframed Positions by Terre Thaemlitz), we are hopeful we will be able to move forward with our 2020 Program as soon as possible.

We are working with the curators and artists we were scheduled to present with over the coming months to ensure all ticket buyers will be refunded for any cancelled events.

The safety of our artists, audience, and staff is paramount, and we will continue to evaluate our position against industry and government advice. We appreciate your ongoing support, and hope that we all benefit from a reactive and flexible response to this crisis.

A message from our Artistic Director and CEO,

Brad Spolding

The SUBSTATION committee and staff made the decision last week to close our venue to the public until further notice for the safety of our artists, audience and staff.

I’m writing this four days into two-weeks of self-isolation and understand how hard the current situation is. I know firsthand the significant impact the unfolding situation is having on people. I know of workers who have lost their jobs, artists who have lost a year’s worth of fees and local community groups who have entirely stopped all activity. During this shutdown, we will be working hard to find ways to support these artists, community groups and our casual staff and volunteers as much as we can.

Since 2016 we have never charged an artist, company or local community group to present in our incredible building. We have worked to pay fees, create platforms and an environment in which artists are supported and respected in a way which we think gives them the best chance at doing their best work. Over this time, we have seen huge audiences from across our local area and right around Melbourne attend some incredible live performances and exhibitions.

We have spent the last five years leveraging every dollar of our funding and generating as much income as possible to create opportunities for artists and audiences to come together. To do this, we rely on our key funders, particularly Hobsons Bay City Council. They have supported The SUBSTATION over many years and always valued the role the venue plays in the local community as a vital cultural facility in the western region of Melbourne and right across Victoria. I also want to acknowledge the enormous role Creative Victoria and the Australia Council have played in supporting our organisation and our program. Alongside this, foundations like the Besen Family Foundation and Gandel Philanthropy have funded us to deliver new programs for independent artists and our local community. We have a small but dedicated group of donors who have allowed us to commission work by independent artists, and I really want to thank them. The culmination of this support is what enables us to do what we do.

We build on this support through presenting our artistic and community engagement programs, over the last four years welcoming over 120,000 people to our program. As a venue we rely on people coming to shows, buying tickets and yes, occasionally hiring out our building for corporate and private non-arts events. Without these ticket buyers and hirers, our ability to keep the doors open becomes incredibly difficult.

Everyone who works at The SUBSTATION spends almost every waking moment working towards our program. While the venue is closed to the public, we will be working to develop ways to support artists and communities so that when we reopen, there will be even more ways for them to work, celebrate and come together.


Signature-Brad-Black-Smaller.png Brad Spolding Artistic Director

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