Ian Hartley
Ian Hartley


Sydney Nightlife Historian

“ What I think is that a lot of people did bars and clubs in the periods you are talking about, did them for themselves for their friends and for art and culture and all these high flying ideals they did it for. Now it has been inherited by people just to make money, and if doesn’t work they will just do something else to make money.   “


Ian Hartley is a Sydney based multi faceted creative talent with a vast and varied resume. Artist, film maker, publisher, editor, author, and pop culture savant. Ian is also a bona fide Sydney Nightlife historian.

Who both designed and operated many of Sydney’s most legendary night-clubs and bars in a career that spanned over two decades. Including Jamison St, Soho Bar, Base, Dome, Site, Orb, Palladium, Kinselas, Peppermint Lounge, The Civic Hotel, Q Bar and Candy’s Apartment.

Ian was too young to be a child of the sixties, but came into his fore in the early seventies, where he started the decade as the curator of the Yellow House Galleries in Potts Point Sydney Australia.The following year taking over the reins of the University of New South Wales student newspaper Tharunka , during the halcyon days of student unrest at the tail end of the Vietnam War. The seventies were a busy time for Ian, as a regular exhibitor at Clive Evatt’s Hogarth Galleries in Paddington, he soon became established as an avant-garde multi media artist, later living and working in the soon to be demolished Walter Burley Griffith designed Paris Theatre in Oxford St which became home to many underground underground film and theatrical events.

A prime mover in Sydney’s 70’s burgeoning Punk and New Wave underground, publishing and editing his own magazine “Spurt!” chronicling that period of musical revolution. Next, co-establishing the trendy, groundbreaking Skin Deep clothing Store, located in Sydney’s then exciting, CBD. The profits from that venture enabling him to establish a performance space, Institute of Contemporary Events, (I.C.E.) which fast gained a reputation as the place to see the cutting edge avant-garde of musicians and performers, from all over Australia. Hartley has also had video installations at the Festival of Sydney and The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Ian has won two AFI awards, one for the video clip for his 12-inch single “Bang Bang” performed by his own band The Love Cage, and another for his experimental film “Kau Boys” that went on to be screened amidst such luminaries as Jean Luc Godard in several European Video festivals. Alongside Spurt!, Ian has published and edited several magazines including Sydney’s Town Magazine, the post punk magazines NO, Silence, and Fetish.