Local businessman Frank Burger-Seed has been nominated as a Perth Pioneer for his creativity, ambition and vision in transforming neglected buildings in Perth city centre into bustling live music locations.
After spending the start of his adult life working as a youth worker, dealing with children with behaviour issues, Frank decided to venture into business ten years ago with only a van and a bouncy castle he found on eBay.
Frank built a successful business in staging parties and events, but five years ago he sold it all and reinvested his energy in bringing a new lease of life to Perth’s late night entertainment and live music scene. He began by purchasing a run-down pub on the city’s Canal Crescent and transforming it into a two-storey establishment.
“Five years ago there wasn’t much of a music scene in Perth… for the first year our bands played to an empty room… but we ploughed at it and ploughed at it… now all the hotels recommend us because of the live music.”
Today the Green Room is the only venue in the city that offers live music six nights a week, averaging at forty to fifty bands every month. Bands come from far and wide, including the United States, Argentina and Australia – as well as giving many local bands and Perth students a start in live music.
“We work very closely with the college, a lot of the colleges have to do their exams on premises with a live performance – so they come down to the green room and do their performance – we have quite strong ties with the college.”
At the end of May 2016 Frank opened his second venue, named the Venue, in the place of a failed nightclub on St. Johns Street. Frank has spent the last eight months transforming the large space into a high-end bar, which provides music artists with an additional stage to perform on Fridays and weekends, with an open mic night on a Thursday.
On the City of Culture bid, Frank spoke in support of encouraging greater change in the night-time economy and getting greater footfall into Perth’s music venues, pubs and bars later in the evening.
“I hope Perth does win, I think it would be good for businesses in Perth”
Frank’s next venture for the Venue is to offer a food menu as he continues to renovate rooms in staff areas of the building.