Eighteen months after their opening, Kambri’s venues have transformed the live music scene for ANU and the wider Canberra community.
From underground house shows to the legendary big name concerts at the old ANU Bar (think Nirvana, going down as one of the best gigs to ever grace our nation’s capital), Canberra’s live music scene has always found ways to thrive.
Kambri was designed as the living heart of ANU and a place to generate activity and buzz, the likes of which Canberra has never before experienced.
Since its opening in February 2019, Kambri has provided an amazing live music venue where big acts come to play. Its purpose-built venues feature the latest in technology and design.
Manning Clark Hall is a magnificent major events space within the Cultural Centre, the Manning Clark Hall has retractable tiered seating, staging, and full production capabilities, enabling it to double not only as a theatre for public lectures and major concerts, but also as a dining hall for large-scale celebratory events. With a capacity of up to 1000 in concert format and 350 with the tiered seating in place, it has the capabilities of host a wide array of events. It is also the home of the magnificent Sidney Nolan mural, Eureka Stockade, donated to the ANU by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
T2 is a multi-use and multi-capacity space that can be configured for 220 people in stadium seating format or 300 in standing concert format. Though smaller than the Manning Clark Hall, this theatre also features a retractable seating system, a front stage area, plus lighting and sound production capabilities.
Cinema features 305 comfortable plush seats, a 10-metre wide screen and an immersive 7.1 surround sound system, watching films at the Cinema at Kambri has never been better! The cinema is ideal for film festivals, screenings, lectures, product or media launches, and special events.
The Drama Theatre is a vast creative space located on the ground floor of the Kambri Cultural Centre. It holds up to 150 people in various seating formats and features a removable stage, lighting and sound production capabilities, making it perfect for small concerts.
The spectrum of acts offered is strong and diverse, catering for a wide range of styles and ages, and providing a safe and accessible place for people to attend.
Some of the most prominent artists to perform at Kambri so far include:
Birds of Tokyo: Unveiling their first pieces of new music in over two years at their Kambri gig, Birds of Tokyo showed why they’re one of Australia’s most popular contemporary rock bands, with an ARIA Award for Best Rock Album to their name.
Kurt Vile: The popular American singer and songwriter supreme brought his backing band, The Violators to Canberra with special guests, RVG. One of the most critically and commercially acclaimed artists of the last decade, Kurt Vile released Bottle It In in late 2019.
Pub Choir: It’s wholesome, joyful, and everyone is in bed by 9:30pm! Pub Choir finally came to the ACT – it’s where best mates gather to have a happy yell-sing together in three-part harmony. The audience brought the voices and the smiles; Pub Choir did the rest.
Hot Chip: Described by The Guardian as “the greatest British pop group of their generation”, audio adventure addicts Hot Chip will make their triumphant return to Australia in 2020, locking in a huge party show at Kambri as they immerse themselves in the warm praise surrounding their latest album A Bath Full Of Ecstasy.
The Beasts of Bourbon with The Johnnys: After an emotional final performance with the Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins got the band’s members, past and present into a recording studio to see what resulted. The Beasts Still Here was the loud and proud tour!
The Chats: Forming in 2016, this young Australian punk rock band soon experienced huge success, best known for their song Smoko and its music video that went viral. Fresh from touring the US, they played songs from their first two EPs and their studio album, Identity Theft.
Northlane: Off the back of a huge sold-out national headline tour, Australia’s elite metallers Northlane announce the 4D regional tour. The tour sees the band hitting up the Nation’s capital, Canberra with special guests Gravemind and local triple j Unearthed winners.
The Tea Party: Iconic Canadian rockers The Tea Party headed back to Australia and brought their genre-defying career to selected intimate venues across Australia, showcased a treasure trove of songs from across their incredible catalogue.
Meg Mac: Australian Singer-Songwriter Meg Mac brought her Give Me My Name Back tour to Kambri. The first track taken from Meg Mac’s latest record is a compelling rallying cry about reclaiming identity, dignity and self-worth. “This song is about standing up for yourself. It’s for everyone who has lost an important part of themselves, which they need to reclaim in order to move forward with their lives,” she says.
As Canberra’s newly minted live music destination, Kambri has provided a major shakeup for the entertainment scene and breathed new life into the industry – stay tuned because there’s a lot more to come!