(Upstairs Cabaret)

Many local and tour bands as well as Victoria’s concert promoters are being left high and dry after downtown Victoria’s Upstairs Cabaret abruptly cancelled all upcoming shows while they deal with some ongoing maintenance issues with the building. 

Early this week, local promoters and bands with shows booked in the coming months found out that Upstairs Cabaret will be unable to host any upcoming concerts.

With a limited number of remaining music venues either already booked, too small or too expensive for many of the shows, some will inevitably have to be cancelled outright. 

Upstairs Cabaret is run by the Frontier Group which also operates Darcy’s and The Duke. Tanya Heartwell, Operations Manager for the Frontier Group says it would have been impossible for them to tackle the maintenance needed while open. 

“We just have some pretty heavy, unexpected maintenance come up and there are just things we couldn’t fix while operational,” Heartwell told Victoria Buzz. 

“So we’re just doing a temporary closure, just to handle that stuff and get things back up to snuff.”

Heartwell wouldn’t say specifically what needed maintenance and construction but did say that the work would include some fresh paint and a few touch-ups along with the more invasive work.

Contrary to rumors suggesting the temporary closure would disrupt staff and operations at Darcy’s in Bastion Square, they will remain fully operational during regular business hours.

“I think where the misconception is, is there was an article written recently about the building that Darcy’s and Upstairs are in, that it’s for sale,” Heartwell explained.

“There are some rumours that I’d like to put to bed, which is that Darcy’s and Upstairs are selling, which is not the case whatsoever. They’re not moving, neither of them are relocating, Darcy’s is still open, operational, nothing is changing there.”

She said that the building is listed for sale but the two businesses are protected and once a buyer takes over the building, the only change they’ll deal with is having a new landlord. 

At this point, there is no set timeline for when exactly the venue will be able to reopen, but the Frontier Group is hoping for sometime in fall 2023. 

Unfortunately for the staff of Upstairs Cabaret, until the maintenance can be completed, they will be out of work, although Heartwell chose not to speak to the specifics of how they were let go. 

Although the specifics of what needs maintenance are unclear, Heartwell says that once it is all dealt with, the venue will be back open and once again booking shows.

“We’re 100% reopening,” Heartwell said. “We have got to take care of a few things in the room that need maintenance and attention and then Upstairs will be back just as always.”

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