What you need to know about the peppermint club 2001 and what it’s really about
In 2005, the Peppersmint Club was born in a small, dark room in Sydney’s south-east, on the edge of the city.
Its purpose was simple: to bring the kids of the small-town community together for fun.
“It was a safe space for us to share our love of music, food and other things,” says club owner and producer Joanne Ritchie.
“The music was always going on and there was always a lot of fun going on around it.”
It was also a place where members could interact and be in the same room with one another.
“There was always one other person who could also join in the fun,” she says.
“Sometimes people would sit together and play a few games and then someone else would sit down to sing.”
It became a place for young people to have fun and socialise.
But it also became a way for the kids to find each other, say Ritchie and club founder Steve Wigglesworth.
“A lot of times we would play a song and then everyone would leave,” Ritchie says.
“[We] would go and play with them for a bit and then just have a few drinks afterwards.”
Ritchie was involved in other projects too, from writing and performing in bars to teaching singing lessons to children.
“I did a lot with kids, and I think that’s what really helped us to create this whole thing,” she adds.
“If we could do that on a weekly basis, that’s the magic.”
After years of hard work and passion, the club was eventually shut down in 2010.
The club has since been recreated in a new venue in Sydney, with a more modern vibe and more people.
“At that time, there were about 40 members of the club,” Rigglesy says.
But after two years of searching, she and club member Paul Stoddart found the location for a new place to play.
“So we found the old venue in Newtown, and we have been playing there ever since,” she explains.
“And that’s where the new venue is.”
The club is now open for business, and now offers a variety of events for young children to play in.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities to put on events for our members,” says Riggys mother-in-law, Lisa.
“That’s why we’re so keen to bring it back.
It’s just a great time for young families to get together, to sing and to socialise.”
But now, the Peppermint Club’s future is uncertain.
“You know, we’ve been open for almost 10 years now and there are no new events scheduled,” she admits.
“Our current members are looking for a place to go.
We’re looking for other venues for a couple of years now, but there’s no way we can open up our old club.”
For now, it’s up to the kids, but for now, you can still check out the club’s website.
Topics: music, community-and-society, music, music-industry, children, community, children-and-$parenting, sydney-2000 More stories from New South Wales