News :: Parramatta Rd Live Music Precinct

March 27th 2013

“Our vision of transforming the wasteland of Parramatta Road into rock and roll central is beginning to come to life. Last night we have struck a blow against the wowser culture that has ruled this town for too long.”

Darcy Bryne, Mayor of Leichhardt

Last night Sydney took a step toward something very special. Leichhardt Council took a vote on a proposal from its mayor, Darcy Byrne, to look into transforming part of the council area into a dedicated live music and cultural precinct – the first of its kind in Sydney. That vote was passed successfully. Parramatta Road, from Sydney Uni through to Leichhardt, is en route to becoming a hub for live gigs and cultural events – working with neighbours and the community to make a space that is culturally rich and diverse.

This is only the beginning – the policy is not in action yet, just a preliminary investigation into the policy – but the first footstep is encouraging as hell.

Byrne said that his proposal will now be submitted to neighbouring councils and the State Government, with a request for their support.

The full proposal from Darcy Byrne is below:



The iconic Annandale Hotel going into receivership is the latest indicator that current planning controls are not conducive to the growth and success of Sydney’s live music industry.

Recently Council held a forum with licensees and entrepreneurs from local live music venues during which the need for a more supportive and proactive regulatory regime was raised.

Its proximity to the CBD and status as a public transport artery, with limited existing residential frontages make Parramatta Road the ideal location for Sydney’s first live music cultural precinct.

Parramatta road from Sydney University through Leichhardt already has a number of longstanding live music venues, a theatre and comedy club as well as ancillary businesses such as musical instrument retailers, repair shops, teaching and recording studios.

Making Parramatta Road a live music and cultural hub has the potential to revitalise the industry and rejuvenate an urban wasteland through the introduction of a vibrant late night economy.


That Council:

1. Investigate what policies and programs can be implement to support the development of the section of Parramatta Road between Sydney University and Taverner’s Hill as a live music and cultural precinct, to nurture live music, comedy and theatre, small bars, and ancillary music industry businesses.

2. Investigate the establishment of a live music development control plan for Parramatta Road which would provide planning incentives and protections for live music and performance venues potentially including:

– A requirement for appropriate sound insulation of new residential and commercial developments

– Increased allowances for noise from live music and performance venues

– Extended trading hours for licensed premises

– An expedited approval process for applications and possibly rates concessions for new music venues

3. Write to the Minister for Planning, the Lord Mayor of Sydney and the Mayor of Marrickville and the Chair of the City of Sydney live music taskforce seeking their collaboration in developing this draft policy.

4. Liaise with Brisbane City Council to incorporate successful elements of the development control plan governing the Fortitude Valley precinct.



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