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Day the music died: This Shotover Street nightclub closes late this month

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Queenstown’s biggest live music venue has become another Covid victim.

Loco nightclub, which is part of the Base Backpackers complex, closes its doors after next weekend.

In a Facebook post this week, it announces, ‘‘with the heaviest of hearts’’, it’s closing ‘‘due to circumstances outside our control’’.

It says Loco’s been ‘‘an [integral] part of Queenstown’s nightlife and culture for so many years’’.

‘‘It’s the place that so many hospo legends started their humble beginnings, it’s the place that all international travellers started their first nights out, it’s the place of Queenstown’s infamous silent discos, it’s the place that has seen some of [the] biggest domestic and international artists perform and it’s the place that we call home.’’

Local promoter Bryce Wrigley says: ‘‘It’s a massive shame in that the community’s lost a big venue and we’re going to struggle to bring bigger acts into town.’’

He says Loco’s capacity has been 400 people.

Last month he promoted a sold-out gig there by London drum ‘n’ bass DJ Kanine.

Last year he brought six shows there, but before then was averaging 10 shows a year.

‘‘We’ve sold out like 80% of the shows we’ve done in there in the last five years.’’

Loco was formerly Altitude Bar till its name changed in 2013.

In 2011 the Shotover Street  nightclub achieved international infamy when bouncer Jonathan Dixon was accused of taking CCTV footage of English rugby player Mike Tindall from the bar when Tindall’s team was in town training for the Rugby World Cup.

Mountain Scene was unable to get comment from Loco’s owners prior to deadline.

scoop@scene.co.nz