How difficult is it to find a location. I have been looking for somewhere for SydneyAtheists to hold their monthly talks. I have emailed and called about 25 places so far and pubs and clubs either don't have a space or want to charge a huge cover or set menu charge ($500-$1000) or the space they have is not appropriate, too noisy, no AV or outside. I have I think an awesome talk planned but I need a TV or projector, and I am not exactly going to bring one with me, though I may look at investing in one for the right place.
I have also been looking for a community hall to hold other meetings, maybe even a monthly board game night, but all those places want to charge anywhere from $15-$50 per hour... and they wonder why these places are mostly empty.
The atheist community has a problem, that problem is meeting in licensed premises. This excludes under 18's and people who don't want to spend money on alcohol or just don't want to be beholden to drink. The noise levels of these places tends to be high, and really for people who want to talk, which is most of us this makes it difficult. Also forget about playing cards or board games at a pub, even talks are hard enough.
I don't have a solution for these issues, issues I am sure other social groups face. When I lived in Brisbane I was a member of a very good board game group that managed to get space at a library, this was due to the rules of space rental in Brisbane being if you don't charge for membership or attendance then room hire is free, no such luck here in Sydney. If anyone has any ideas let me know in the comments, more posts to come soon on refuting religion, counter-apologetics, Sydney Atheists, and any talks I do (if we ever get a venue) coming soon to this blog.