KIRSTI BUICK

Rumours have been flying in Hatfield that local concert and party venue, Hotbox Studios, will be closing down. After hearing a similar story at Rag Farm from Wynand Myburgh, of Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel, Perdeby decided to investigate.We can now confirm that the rumours are true.

The good news is that this is not the end of the line for Hotbox’s legendary parties and gigs. “We are basically stopping shows on the premises, but we will be continuing with our shows like Park Acoustics and Dogbox [that are held at other venues],” says Hotbox’s Willem van der Schyf.

According to Van der Schyf, he and the other owners are renting the property from his grandmother, who is “not very happy” with what they are using it for. Initially, the Studios were intended to be exactly that – studios. The parties only came into the picture after the launch party was such a success. “They weren’t exactly part of the original plan,” claims Van der Schyf. “Things sort of got out hand. We see focusing on the studio as the next step for the business.”

So what about the rumours of liquor license troubles? “I know a lot of people have been speculating about the license, but we’ve never had a problem. We get temporary licenses for the parties,” says the studio owner. The licenses are valid for a week. However, Van der Schyfs’ grandmother wasn’t too chuffed about the alcohol either. Apparently that, plus a somewhat damaged property, doesn’t make for a happy landlord.

But Hotbox founders are looking at the situation with a positive attitude. “We want to end on a high note,” says Van der Schyf “Rather we bow out now with people remembering this as a legendary time.” In addition, Van der Schyf feels that “bowing out” now is symbolic, since it will have been almost exactly two years since the launch party when the final party is held in March.

However this isn’t the end for gigs and parties for Hotbox (hopefully). Van der Schyf hesitantly suggested that the Studios might host some “smaller” events later on in the year, with “about 400 people or so.” Sounds like a party to Perdeby. Count us in.

Images: Hotbox Studios on Facebook

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