It has been known as Wagga’s home of live music for many, many years, but the Home Tavern has been just as important countless other communities within the city.
Now, with the Fitzmaurice Street pub counting down the days until it closes its doors for good, many of those clubs, organisations, and groups that have called it home for so long are wondering where they will go next.
The Bidgee Blues Club has brought its smooth tunes to the Home’s stage on the first Sunday of every month for almost 10 years now.
Blues Club president Wayne Jenkins said finding a new venue after next month’s final gig at the Home was proving harder than expected.
“There’s a few places, but the problem is there’s no built in PA system anywhere like the Home has,” Mr Jenkins said.
“It has one of the best sound systems in regional Australia, so you could always just jump up there on stage, get up, and go.”
Mr Jenkins said he and the team were remaining hopeful that another venue would pick up where the Home left off in time for the Blues Club’s first performance next year, which will be in February.
Another organisation that has called the pub home for many years is Wagga’s National Servicemen Association sub-branch, fondly known as the Nashos.
Wagga president Ben Davey said after selling raffle tickets there every Friday for more than 10 years, the Home had become a huge part of the Nashos’ community.
“We’re very saddened by the fact the Home’s closing down, because it’s been a very good venue for us,” Mr Davey said.
“For the Nashos, it was sort of our little home, but we’re going to be moving across the road to the Duke, and we’ll certainly reminisce about our days at the Home.”
Mr Davey said their days of selling raffle tickets at the Home had helped fund a whole lot the Nashos’ projects around the city.
“It’s not a big earner – it earns about $100 per week – but we’re an ex-Australian Defence Force organisation, so all of that money goes towards our local projects,” he said.
“In the past, it would’ve helped putting small memorials in some of the schools, putting a commemorative plaque at the Kapooka chapel, and funding an information book the Association produced that was placed within local schools and the Australian War Memorial.”
Other clubs that still call the venue home include Wagga’s slam poets and burlesque dancers, the Hockey Ducks, and the travelling Metal United Down Under festival.
The Home’s liquor licence will be revoked in mid-December, with one last weekend of entertainment set to dazzle Wagga from December 14 to December 16.