The owner of The Bird says the long-running Northbridge bar and music venue is facing closure due to falling bar revenue despite regularly hosting sold-out events. Speaking exclusively to The West, Kabir Ramasary said he needed to make around $2500 to $5000 more per week for the William Street institution to continue operating. Opened in 2000, The Bird hosted early performances from Tame Impala, Methyl Ethel, Spacey Jane and Stella Donnelly before those Perth acts went on to national and international acclaim. At the recent WAMAwards, The Bird was named the best live music venue. Mr Ramasary, who also owns neighbouring restaurant North Bird and nearby small bar Ezra Pound, said the 176-capacity venue, which operates as a bar from 3pm-8pm before hosting gigs at night, was an incubator for new and emerging acts spanning all musical genres. Perth has recently suffered the closure of two popular music venues, The Sewing Room and Badlands, both due to increasingly prohibitive costs, especially for staff and insurance. Peak music body APRA AMCOS’ annual report stated that more than 1300 live music venues across Australia have been lost since COVID-19 restrictions began, shrinking available stages for small to medium gigs by one-third over the past three years. The Bird, however, was not going quietly with Mr Ramasary taking a “do or die” approach to keeping the lights on. “It’s our turn on the chopping block,” he said. “This is do or die for us, and so we’re calling on our community for help.” Today the desperate publican launches Keep the Bird Flying, a mini-festival as well as a crowd-funding campaign hoping to inject close to $95,000 into his struggling business. From January 13 to February 4, The Bird will host a series of gigs starring local bands performing while music lovers enjoy a four-hour bar package of “free-flowing drinks” in exchange for a $100 entry fee. The Australian Cultural Fund will host the crowd-funding campaign, which has a target of $25,000. Mr Ramasary said the public call for support was as much about raising awareness as raising money for his venue. “Don’t wait until it’s too late,” he said. “You say you’re closing, everyone comes along and you have the best two months of your life.” Describing The Bird as a “passion project”, Mr Ramasary said he worked around 40 hours per week but only paid himself around $30,000 per annum. He said there was no simple solution, such as raising ticket prices — at his venue, bands take door sales minus 10 per cent on top of a production fee starting at $220. Sold-out shows at The Bird struggle to turn a significant profit, thanks to rising staffing and other costs, while young gig-goers are drinking significantly less than previous generations. Mr Ramasary revealed that recent back-to-back shows got 380 people through the door on the same day but only collected $5000 on the bar in total, whereas a similar event would once rake in $12000. The issue was not getting punters to the show but getting them there early to spend money on food and beverages, he said, adding that many music lovers only showed up for headline acts.