300 Dudley Street, West Melbourne, Melbourne
West Melbourne Stadium was originally built by John Wren, the chairman of Stadiums Pty Ltd in 1915 and was the centre of the entrepreneurs’ entertainment ventures through and hosted numerous boxing and professional wrestling bouts and large meetings.
West Melbourne Stadium was tragically destroyed by fire in 1955 but was rebuilt in time for the 1956 Olympics, where it was used for gymnastics, wrestling. Since its reconstruction Festival Hall’s versatile set up has been utilized for many events. Festival Hall was known as the original House of Rock and Roll and is famous for its electric atmosphere. From the pandemonium that greeted the Beatles, Bill Haley and Johnny Cash and the famous Lee Gordon “Big Shows” through to the classic style of Frank Sinatra, Liberace and Shirley Bassey. More recently Oasis, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol and Powderfinger have all played to packed houses.
Festival Hall was also known as the House of Stoush. Some of the greatest names in boxing have fought at Festival Hall including Lionel Rose, Johnny Fammachon, Anthony Mundine, Lester Ellis and Barry Michaels. Wrestling also featured regularly as Roller Derby, Ballroom Dancing, Cultural and religious Gatherings and the first Indoor Tennis Exhibition featuring John McEnroe.
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