From February 24th new laws are to be enforced across Sydney requiring 1:30am lockouts and 3:00am last drinks.
These laws cover approximately 220 venues with more than half of those being classified and Live Music venues, the exceptions to this law being restaurants, large hotels and small bars of fewer than 60 customers.
How these inclusion zone has been determined I am unsure, although it conveniently excludes Star Casino and Barrangaroo being affected by the new laws.
Additionally only 3 of the 25 most violent clubs in NSW are included.
Both Queensland and Victoria have tried similar tactics only to be reversed after not receiving the intended results.
Now whilst I understand the need for action in the wake of alcohol related violence I think this is a drastic measure and don’t believe it will yield effective
For starters the issue is violence on the streets, with very few reported cases of violence within venues. What will happen at the the 3am last drinks? Venues will cease to be profitable and eject their patrons onto the streets.
So rather than having the slow number of patrons leave the venues and sober up at 3am the streets will have an unexpectedly high number of people having just finished their last drink.
These laws will probably see an increase in people seeking alternatives like sneaking alcohol into venues with them and using prohibited substances.
One of my big concerns with these law is their effect on the Live Music industry, which is already fighting an ongoing battle with poker machine space.
However there are plenty of venues still thriving with a live music scene and happy to continue so long as they are making money i.e bar sales.
For most of the Electronic Dance Music scene events tend to run from 10pm-5am on average with most featured acts starting at 12:00 or 1am.
It will be such a shame to see the scene diminish in Sydney, just after it was starting to pick up again and
This would significantly reduce the number of available space for upcoming artists.
The flow on effects don’t just stop at live music, many other jobs will be included in the reduction of business bar staff, security guards, cleaners, lighting technicians, audio engineers, promoters, door staff, designers, venue managers, booking agents, producers… The list goes on.
Reports indicate that violence in Sydney is at its lowest in 10 years.
The issue is not with the venues but with the culture.
So what can be done?
There are plenty of surveys, petitions and alliances going around at the moment which will hopefully stir domes noise and if note simply serve as a big fat told you so when it fails.