Welcome to the Asylum

Asylum is our dedicated function and events space – a refuge from the everyday world.

It’s where awesome Southern bands can throw off the covers, show their true colours and deliver a whole different sound track (Thanks Massav Productions for sourcing those unique talents, while keeping it real for our up-and-coming artists.)

And, thanks to Jade Gillies and The House Series, it’s also where New Zealand’s top comedians take center stage to expand our world view.

And ditto for the amazing Southland Artists who showcase their works on the walls of the Asylum.

And it’s where you can dance to the soundtrack of youths of all ages.

It’s also available as a venue for private functions.

Simply, Asylum is offered to all those marginalised, misunderstood or simply in need of entertainment.

To buy your ticket to the Asylum either pop into our Cellar Door or click here.

The Need for Asylum

The late-great Douglas Adams not only authored the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy he was also a money-where-his-mouth-is environmentalist who in 1994 founded Save the Rhino International, a charity still desperately airlifting White Northern Rhinos away from poachers when Adams died in 2001.

In his final novel, “So long and Thanks for the all the Fish”, Adams introduced us to Wonko the Sane, a character who built a four-walled inside-out building, so he could live Outside the Asylum.

The story goes that, distressed and fearing for the world’s sanity, Wonko (aka John Watson) built the Asylum to put the world in so it could get better, after discovering a set of detailed instructions on a packet of toothpicks. To warn himself and others from re-entering the madness “inside” Wonko mounted the instructions near the door:

“Hold stick near centre of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.”

  • In 2015 a packet of toothpicks purchased in Invercargill bore that inscription.
  • In 2015 the world’s White Northern Rhino population numbered three, none capable of breeding.
  • In 2016 the ICUN Red List of Endangered Species included 60 New Zealand animals – of those four are critically endangered, five endangered and seven are already extinct.