There were dramatic scenes at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre last night when the floor collapsed during a gig by ARIA-winning artist Genesis Owusu.
There was a full house at the venue, with thousands of fans watching the artists comeback concert when the incident happened, shortly into his set, with a huge sinkhole opening up in the dancefloor.
Owusu was celebrating winning the 17th Australian Music Prize for his 2021 debut album Smiling With No Teeth. The Ghanian-Australian artist received $30,000 yesterday after being named the top artist by a panel more than 40 industry judges.
“There’s like a real deep drop after that, so this is actually really dangerous,” Owusu told his fans. “You guys are super sick, we’re going to have to reschedule the show because this is like a four-metre drop.
“I love you all, you guys have been amazing. This is really shit. You guys are f—ing crazy and this shit’s gonna go down in history because you guys are the f—ing craziest crowd and broke the f—ing Enmore in two songs.”
Witnesses described the sunken area as approximately a metre deep and eight by six metres across. It’s a tough blow to the venue, which was just getting back on track after COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
“I was standing at the centre barricade and all of a sudden it felt like I was on a water bed,” Benjamin Potter, who works for the Sydney Morning Herald, said.
Vivenne Goodes, a reporter with student newspaper Honi Soit, said the mosh pit caved in.
“It was crazy, the people in the pit looked like they were kneeling,” she said.
Labor’s night time economy and music spokesman John Graham, who was at the gig, said he saw people “literally dancing a metre or two below the rest of the crowd” as the floor sank.
The historic venue was built in 1908 and is located at 118–132 Enmore Road in Newtown, in the inner west of Sydney’s suburbs.
As music reviewer Bernard Zuel noted on Twitter: “Two years of virtually no gigs, the Enmore Theatre dark for the bulk of it, gigs return, the show is sold out … then the floor collapses. This venue, this industry, just can’t take a trick.”
The extent of the damage and repairs needed is not yet known, but the fate of several big upcoming gigs planned for the venue – including Young Franco, Spacey Jane, Bliss N Eso and Courtney Barnett – hangs in the balance.