Sydney is well and truly feeling the pinch of the tough new curfews and liquor restrictions that were placed upon the Harbour City’s ‘Entertainment Precinct’ at the beginning of this year, with many fearing that the new laws will drain the CBD of both money and live music.
However as of late last week, a group comprising of musicians, venues, a federal government body and City of Sydney council have come together in a collective push calling for a review of the drastically harsh draconian laws implemented on the city as well as providing a solution to overcome the current crisis that looms over the CBD, as Fairfax Media point out.
Thursday 20th November saw the disgruntled entity put forth their complaints at a New South Wales legislative inquiry, detailing their fear of live music being forever lost in the heart of the city due to the restrictive laws, arguing that many establishments who solely rely on the nightlife of Sydney’s CBD have experienced profit losses of up to 40 percent since the laws shell-shocked the city.
In addition to this, reports of the explosion of ‘illegal’ raves in the city’s Western suburbs further demonstrate that the tight laws are negatively impacting the vast musical culture and community of Sydney’s nightlife.
Noting of the inquiry Sydney MP Alex Greenwich stated, “It acknowledges that there have been unintended consequences that have impacted on our nightlife and cultural diversity.” No official statement has been released yet, with the New South Wales government set to provide response to the inquiry “within a month.”
Whilst this provides a glint of hope for the future, what say of the falling economic and music culture of Sydney’s CBD now?
The group state that to keep the area afloat, there needs to be a strong push by the NSW government for live music within Kings Cross, as live music typically sees patrons visit venues much earlier in the night. “You need to give people a reason to come in at 8pm. If we all sit here waiting for the lockout laws to be lifted we will all go broke,” said business owner Ron Creevey.
Sydney has already seen an expanding network of live music venues pop-up in the city’s inner west that are flourishing, what’s to say the same cannot occur within the CBD and restore the area to its former glory?
The laws were set in place at the beginning of the year has seen Sydney’s CBD experience 1:30am lockouts, 3am last drinks, and statewide closure of bottle shops from 10pm with the intention of reducing alcohol fuelled violence within the streets, which has been a point of contention after reports mere months ago suggested the laws had had an adverse effect.
With such an incredible array of musicians constantly spilling from Sydney’s expansive scene, there’s certainly no shortage of artists itching to perform live. The NSW government simply needs to recognise and push for more live music within the area, it’s not too late to save Sydney’s entertainment precinct.