Keep Sydney Open :: Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance

January 30th 2014

Keep Sydney Open

We support safe nights in a global city.

We support live music.

Our mission is to Keep Sydney Open!


This week, the NSW State Government will introduce 1.30am lockouts for inner city venues to Parliament, amongst other sweeping restrictions. In response to these proposed changes, we’ve joined a number of Sydney live music venues, cultural organisations, artists and music industry stakeholders to form the Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance. Founding members of the alliance include MusicNSW, SLAM, GoodGod Small Club, Oxford Art Factory,, inthemix and The Music Network.



• Live music venues have been demonstrated to increase feelings of safety in the nighttime environment, improve social bonds, and contribute to overall wellbeing and happiness (Deloitte Access Economics, 2011)

• There are over 2,500 licensed premises in the City of Sydney LGA. Of these only 143 are registered with APRA|AMCOS as live music venues (CoS Live Music and Performance Action Plan, 2013).

• As live music venues generally trade with lower profit margins, reduced patronage as a result of the lockout laws will result in higher rates of closure for cultural venues than general licensed premises that are subsidised by gaming or pokies revenue

• A freeze on license approvals in the lockout zone is going to stifle the cultural growth of our city, right at a time when small bars and cultural venues are proving to actually reduce violence



• That any model to reduce alcohol and drug related violence in Sydney should be based on the experiences of other global cities, and not the model imposed on Newcastle, a regional town of just half a million residents.

• That based on evidence, a lockout and many of the Premier’s other proposals are designed to fail. We do not support a 1.30am lockout or 3am closure of licensed venues that are geared towards cultural activity – be that live music, theatre, performance art, or some other form.

• Significant improvements must be made to Sydney’s public transport system in the CBD + surrounds, to ensure public transport remains accessible long into the night and that people can get home quickly and safely.


In New South Wales, the rate of alcohol-related assaults has been declining since 2008 and are at their lowest since 2002. Despite this, the NSW State Government is forging ahead with harsh new lockout rules to combat the perceived increase and danger on Sydney’s streets.

The late-night scene in Sydney has been heavily regulated in recent years. Despite this, venues that focus on culture, entertainment and socialising in a safe environment have led to a resurgence of engaging, productive nightlife options for its citizens. On the back of the live music-led rejuvenation and alongside an emerging small bars culture, Sydney has fought hard to grow and innovate. These new laws will turn back the clock on Sydney and its now lively late-night cultural scene.

These venues offer a safe place to enjoy and socialise in Sydney, they create audience development and performance opportunities for musicians, artists and DJs, they employ a large number of young people and encourage small business growth. All of these things are at threat with the new lockout proposals.


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