The epicentre for the revival of our bowling clubs
Since its inception in 1926, Adamstown Bowling Club has been the beating heart of the local community for almost one hundred years.
Over the course of time, the social spot has weathered many a storm, with 2020 seeing the venue join the Australia-wide bowling club revival and become a social hangout for all generations.
We caught up with Matt Field, Live Music and Venue Manager of the Adamstown Bowling Club to hear about how this local haunt has developed into what it is today.
“The revival started in 2020 when the Berejiklian government introduced a one person per 4m2 rule for venues post lockdown. Due to the size of our block, we were able to open our doors to the community when other venues were heavily restricted.
“We saw four generations interacting with the venue together, celebrating togetherness after many months in lockdown,” Matt Field said.
Whilst at its core, the venue still operates as a bowling club, the board at Adamstown Bowling Club is encouraging visitors from all walks of life to visit and spend time socialising on-site.
At the forefront of the venue’s movement to invite more people in is its role as a local live music space.
“Live music is crucial to the wellbeing and vibrancy of our city. I truly believe that live music has enabled us to keep the doors open, reduce the number of gaming machines, and keep a very important sense of place for our bowlers and the wider community.”
Showcasing their dedication to the live music scene, the board has developed two new live music spaces within the club. First up is The Green Room – home to a unique collection of original acts coming through every Friday and Saturday night.
The second is the lesser-known space – The Locker Room. This small, intimate theatre-style room has been created inside the venue’s old locker room.
“This room is perfect for supporting our emerging songwriter and experimental screen. The room will also be the new home to the City of Newcastle-supported live music TV show, Music People, with a new season commencing in early 2024.”
Additionally, the beer garden will continue to offer a stage to support local acoustic acts, adding to the overall ambience of a wonderful Sunday arvo lawn bowl session.
“We’ve had indie bands, funk bands, songwriters, drag shows, vinyl collectors, and the blues. The one thing that unifies all music here is our commitment to booking great musicians, no matter what style of music they play. The best part is that we’re still just at the beginning!”
As a community-focussed club live music isn’t the only thing that has people making their way through the doors in droves. An ongoing collection of community events such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day dedicated takeovers, LGBTQIA+ nights, original music nights, and speed bowling are amongst some of the venue’s most popular events.
“We pride ourselves on being a community club where people from all walks of life come together – we’re part of the family. We’re safe and inclusive, honouring the ‘good old times’ while embracing all the change that is taking place in the new Newcastle.
“We’re looking forward to turning our beer garden into a sunny, craft beer hang out for the Dads this coming Father’s Day. There will be live music, food stalls, craft beer, a florist selling man-flowers only and the famous one-armed bowl competition – where dads play some ends while holding a baby.”
Keen to get along to the Father’s Day event this weekend? Check out all the details here.
Always thinking one step ahead, the events calendar at Adamstown Bowling Club always includes an element of giving back, raising awareness, and/or revenue for various local social causes.
Not one to do this by halves, the venue is also dedicated to serving up a great selection of food to keep you all well-fed when visiting. The Barn Bistro is where it’s at for your traditional bistro favourites Wednesday through to Sunday.
Come Friday night, the pizza oven in the beer garden is fired up, serving a great selection of woodfired pizzas throughout the weekend.
“And on Tuesday nights we have multicultural food nights, where we invite a different food truck in each week to park alongside our craft beer bar. And perhaps our favourite, is Bondwood Café. Serving some of the best coffee in Newcastle out of a vintage caravan in our front garden. Open EVERY morning until 1pm.”
Inching closer to its 100th birthday, the Adamstown Bowling Club will continue to embrace some of the traditions that we all love about bowling clubs – mateship, camaraderie, community, and retro carpet – all whilst inviting in the new that is driving Newcastle forward – creativity, innovation, diversity, and some of the best live music from around the country.
If you’re yet to experience the magic of community at Adamstown Bowling Club, add it to your ‘must-visit’ list, mark your calendars, and experience all that is on offer.