Sydney Unlocked

Sydney Unlocked, Lock Out Laws, Live Music

Sydney Unlocked

This is a podcast series hosted by FBi’s Marty Doyle. It features conversations about what we want Sydney’s cultural future to look like, and how we might get there. The idea for Sydney Unlocked came about from real conversations here at FBi Radio.

Over the last 2 years, there’s been heavy debate surrounding the health and vibrancy of Sydney’s night life, especially since the lockout laws have come into effect. These laws have had a direct impact on a majority of people involved with the station. Naturally, it sparked some passionate and emotional conversations.

But the more conversations we had, the more we realised that there was a sentiment that Sydney was struggling culturally beyond the lockouts. The feeling was that things had been hard for a while, and they had just gotten got harder.

Why? How did we get here? How do we fix it?

These were the questions we became most interested in.

On the 18th June, we teamed up with Vivid Ideas at the Museum of Contemporary Art and hosted Sydney Unlocked. We rounded up some of the best creative minds from Sydney to tackle these questions with us. It was a really insightful and inspiring day. It felt like a positive and constructive first step towards addressing some of these bigger questions.

What we all realised that day was the importance of continuing the conversation.

This podcast is exactly that. We’re continuing the conversation and we encourage you to do the same.

Sydney Unlocked is available on iTunes and all good podcast apps. Theme music by Donny Benet.


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Jan Fran’s opening speech at Sydney Unlocked: How did we get here?

Why is culture important to a city? Five takeaways from Sydney Unlocked



Professor James Arvanitakas is the Dean of the Graduate Research School at Western Sydney University, where he also lectures in Humanities and is a member of the University's Institute for Culture and Society. James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style and was the recipient of the Prime Minister's University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012. He is a regular media commentator appearing on ABC TV and recently launched Sociologic (the book) and the podcast with FBi Radio.

We spoke with James about his time working in Western Sydney and the important role Greater Sydney is starting to play in cultural production. We spoke about the relationship between education and culture, how our perception of cultural value has changed over time, how we might look at re-packaging events to meet new demands and why Heavy Metal fans are amongst the most loyal.


When we were putting this project together, Jaimie and Aspasia Leonarder aka Jay Katz and Miss Death were two people who immediately sprang to mind. For anyone with an interest in DIY culture, these two are like the spiritual gurus of DIY.They have dedicated their lives to sharing their passion for the fringes of forgotten culture and the people who live within those fringes.

Together they have worked as diversional therapists for the elderly and disabled, hosted the legendary club night “Sounds of Seduction” opened their home to the public and created the Mu Meson Archive and hosted one of FBi’s most infamous programs “The Naked City”.

We discussed a bunch of topics including why creating an inclusive space is important, why the “bottom line” is corroding culture, why fringe culture creates the front line, how underground culture feeds overground culture and why providing spaces for teenagers to be creative in is a necessity.


Our first conversation is with Emily Collins. Emily is the Executive Officer at MUSICNSW, a valuable organisation that supports the music industry across the entire state. We spoke to Em about her time growing up in Darwin and what a culture shock it was moving to Sydney. We discussed attitudes surrounding free music and why finding new venues outside of metropolitan Sydney is crucial. We also explored the question is nostalgia suffocating our vision for a new future?

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