Tributes flow for Beat Megaclub founder John Hannay

Beat Megaclub owner John Hannay Queens Ball Awards
Photo: Funky Munky/Brisbane Pride

John Hannay, founder of the Beat Megaclub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, has passed away.

The Beat mourned the loss of their “iconic and illustrious leader,” who sadly lost his battle with cancer, in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

“Last night at 8pm John passed peacefully away and will be missed tremendously by all of us here at The Beat,” the venue wrote.

Hannay’s legacy is the long-running Beat Megaclub, the venue wrote.

The community are invited to come along to the Beat on Saturday evening to “celebrate the life and memory” of Hannay.

“In its 35 year history, The Beat Megaclub opened its doors and welcomed everybody, but in particular offered a safe haven for the LGBT community,” the Beat wrote.

“Through its many eras, The Beat has touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of people in a way that only John Hannay could make possible.

“We encourage you all to join us tonight at The Beat Megaclub to celebrate the life and the memory of a true legend, Mr John Hannay.

“Thank you John, and may you rest in peace.”

Friends, staff, performers and clubgoers took to social media to share tributes to Hannay, who died aged in his mid-eighties.

Performer Lidia Box wrote, “RIP John Hannay. You most certainly did amazing things for the Brisbane LGBTQIA scene, I thank you for that.”

The Beat staff member and friend Jason Lansdell said he was saddened by the news and he would “cherish the time we spent together.”

“John was my boss and a dear friend, an amazing man, an iconic figure in the world of clubs and entertainment,” he wrote.

“I will cherish the last moment I spent with him, which was a big hug. I told him I loved him and for the first time ever he said “love ya too mate”, the last words he ever spoke to me,” he wrote.

Sportsman Hotel owner Neil McLucas said Hannay was “an icon of the Brisbane gay scene”.

He and the Sporties team offered their heartfelt condolences to Hannay’s family and friends and the staff and entertainers at The Beat.

Friend Angie Goossens wrote on Facebook, “You will stay in my heart forever, and until we meet again may the mirror balls shine brightly.”

‘The community thanks you’

Established in 1983 on Ann Street in Fortitude Valley, the original Beat Nightclub boasted a single bar and dancefloor but in the years since has greatly expanded.

The Beat Megaclub of today now boasts five nightclubs, seven bars and six beer gardens.

Last November, the venue celebrated its 35th birthday with a special party reuniting artists, staff, DJs and performers from the club’s history.

Last year, Hannay was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award (pictured) at the 2018 Queen’s Ball Awards to recognise his contribution to Brisbane’s LGBTIQ community.

“For 35 years, The Beat has been a safe place for the LGBT community to party, to dance,” Brisbane drag performer Diva said at the ceremony as she presented Hannay with the honour.

“It’s been a place that’s been non-judgmental and open to everyone.

“It’s given many performers an opportunity to tread the boards and do what they love to do.

“John Hannay, I love you and thank you. The community thanks you.”

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