Compressed by competing venues, nearby accommodation and commercial precincts within a new campus location, the student-run ANU Union is winding up its operations in January and handing over its assets to a separate association.
The ACT government's current investigation into the rapid decline in dynamic live music venues for new and emerging talent in Canberra has come too late to save the union, which will hand its assets over to the newer Postgraduate & Research Students' Association.
The union's grass roots is in student services, but more widely for the Canberra region, in its decades of support for live music and entertainment. But its shift to a new campus location, and the noise restrictions which have followed, have struck a final and terminal chord.
And for many, it's the end of an era.
For years the former Union Court bar and building had been a focus of the ANU campus out-of-hours activity, with an enviable reputation for attracting the best musicians and hosting memorable gigs.
Down through the decades, the Union Bar attracted some huge live acts and was a standard fixture for big touring artists, from Skyhooks back in the late 1970s, to Nick Cave in the 1990s.
However, a long-planned campus redevelopment finally led to the demolition of the old and beloved Union Court in May 2017.
The student association building, the old bar, the arts centre and The Gods cafe went under the wrecking ball to make way for new facilities.
Meanwhile, as the old buildings came down and a "pop-up" village emerged in the interim, a disagreement rolled on between the organisation and the ANU on a suitable new location where the union believed it could provide the same access, entertainment and services to students.
Finally, after a mid-2017 court-case, a settlement was reached and the union announced it was "excited" to start up its new operation on the ground floor of the ANU Commons, just outside the new Kambri precinct.
However, the key missing ingredient, because the new location had student accommodation nearby, was an ability for gigs at the venue to crank up the volume.
A noise assessment report on the new venue calculated normal bar noise from patrons and recorded music at the venue would fall within accepted standards.
However, it could no longer host acts which would potentially breach the restrictions.
The loss of live music venues in Canberra due to the infill of accommodation has been under assessment by the ACT government, with a report due to go to the Assembly next year.
Patronage steadily fell away at the union's new location despite a number of initiatives such as cut-price meals, Politics in the Pub, and one-off special events.
Even that greatest of student attractants, cheap beer, didn't woo the patrons as strongly as the old bar had, and viable income from the licensed premises - a key source of union income - slowly slid away.
In a statement, the winding up of the organisation was described as as a "death of a thousand cuts".
"There were unknowns [at the new venue] regarding how students would react to the new space, how much [foot] traffic we would incur in our location and how quickly we could build momentum amongst the student body," the statement said.
"However, despite best efforts, performance has been worse than expected. It has become clear that the ANU Union will not be able to continue under the present circumstances."