WOLLONGONG is again without an LGBTI-supportive nightclub, after the recently re-opened venue Industry closed its doors earlier this month.

Citing low patron numbers, Lu Ristov, who works for the club’s owner Wollongong Nightlife, stated recently that the closure was purely a business decision based on the circumstances at hand.

This announcement came less than two months after entertainment group Metro Entertainment returned control of the property to Wollongong Nightlife, after reopening the venue late last year.

“We had a fantastic relationship with Metro Entertainment but it seemed no matter what they did, there was just no support from the community,” Ristov told the Illawarra Mercury.

“The market just didn’t respond as well as we had hoped.”

In a statement on their website, Metro Entertainment stated that they had returned “the stylish, lavish venue back to Wollongong NightLife with a dedicated client base.”

According to their Facebook page, Industry promoted a regular schedule of male strip and drag shows, as well as burlesque dancers during the club’s management by Metro Entertainment.

However, according to Unity Wollongong’s Emma Rodrigues, it was the club’s unwillingness to accept feedback from the local LGBTI community in regards to what they were looking for in a venue that resulted in its decline.

“Through community consultation we can get feedback on what it is they actually want to see, and what are the gaps that are missing,” Rodrigues stated recently to ABC Illawarra.

“It’s about being mindful the community has its own likes and dislikes around music and not being stereotyped – not all of us are interested in heavy partying.”

According to Ristov, a new venture is already set to take over the Industry venue in next few weeks, with its primary focus being on midweek patrons and live entertainment including bands and DJs.

“The venue is probably Wollongong’s best nightclub set-up,” Ristov said.

“We will be announcing at the end of the month or early next month. We’re very excited.”

Wollongong Nightlife also reportedly owns the majority of the clubbing facilities in the Wollongong area, with venues such as Ivory, The Harp, The Grand and Glasshouse being a part of their portfolio, according to the Illawarra Mercury.

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