Melbourne’s Institutional Venue The Tote Hotel Needs Saving!

Whether you live in Melbourne or have visited Victorian’s capital city over the years, chances are you’ve heard of The Tote Hotel, or affectionately known as The Tote. Over the years, locals have swarmed into the Collingwood establishment for plenty of beers and other beverages, and most importantly live music; and oh so much of it.

At the start of March, current business owners of The Tote posted on socials that the financial stress of continuing to run the venue was getting a bit too much, particularly after the relentless and unforgiving nature of Melbourne’s Covid lockdowns – a brutal series of gut-punches for businesses small and large. The news felt personal at Wall of Sound, as we’ve shared many special moments there, hell – we even discovered the new KoRn record on a poster stuck to the outside of their wall and Violent Soho played a secret show prior to releasing their 2020 album Everything Is A-OK.

Check out their full post below, likening their feeling to that of ex-New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern when she called it quits with “no petrol left in the tank.” The end of The Tote could be a pending bitter reality.

Alas, this story isn’t all doom and gloom, because there is a plan to keep the pulse going on the corner of Johnston Street and Wellington Street. Leanne & Shane who look after Melbourne’s Last Chance Rock & Roll bar down the road, have a plan to save the establishment, and we’re about to let you in on their approach.

They’ve set up a fundraising site on Pozible, outlining the problem at hand, that is the current asking price for the building is $6M-6.6M (with a plan to turn the block into apartments). Leanne and Shane aren’t having a bar of it so they’ve raised some funds and reckon they can scramble 50% of the funds needed for the purchase, but they need your help with the other 50%, particularly going up against developers.

If you’re wondering why the solution isn’t as simple as looking at wealthy investors, the Last Chance owners believe that misaligns to the ethos of rock ‘n’ roll. So, buy some merch, spread the word and donate a few pennies, and if you have bigger and better ideas, hit them up directly at

Given what’s happened in Northern states with the closing of two iconic venues since the pandemic (Crowbar in Brisbane and Frankie’s in Sydney), let’s do what we can to prevent the same from happening to one of our own.

Words by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)

Help Save The Tote here

Save The Tote

About Ricky Aarons (820 Articles)
Co-editor at Wall of Sound and self-acclaimed deathcore connoisseur. My purpose is to expose you to the best emerging breakdowns and gutturals that this planet has to offer.