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News November 22, 2022

Inner West Sydney Town Halls to Become Music Spaces

Inner West Sydney Town Halls to Become Music Spaces

In early 2023, all eight of Inner West Sydney’s town halls will be used for live music venues, rehearsal areas and creative & studio spaces.

The Inner West Council also announced it is committed to exploring more Special Entertainment Precinct locations in the area.

Councillor Chloe Smith said that it had already been enforced at Marrickville Town Hall.

“This will help to address the critical shortage of creative space in the inner city and breathe new life into these proud civic venues.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with our local creative community as we chart a blueprint for the sector’s recovery.”

These moves by Inner West Council were in response to a report arising from the recent Arts and Music Summit that Council held at Marrickville Town Hall in partnership with the Sydney Fringe on June 2.

It was designed to help performers, artists and arts-based businesses find a way forward after two years of the pandemic.

Attendees included musicians, peak organisations, creative businesses, live performance venue operators and academics as well as several state and federal parliamentarians representing electorates in the Inner West Local Government Area.

There were keynote speeches from Inner West Council mayor Darcy Byrne and NSW arts minister Ben Franklin.

Afterwards, there were Q&A sessions before the Summit broke into working groups where an open discussion of ideas was to develop an Inner West Arts and Music Recovery Plan.

An independent report included specific actions proposed by participants on the day which could be undertaken by local, state and federal government as well as the business community and relevant peak bodies.

Council said, “While the Arts and Music Recovery Plan is in development, immediate action can be taken to help our creative community.”

These included:

(1) Ensuring the maximum use of local artists and venues for Council events including the Marrickville Festival, Inner West Film Festival, World Pride activations and the Perfect Match program.

(2) Turning Council’s eight town halls into creative spaces.

(3) Scouting for more Special Entertainment Precincts in the Inner West.

 (4) Establishing a ‘concierge matching’ service that matches artists with spaces.

(5) Reaffirming Council’s outdoor activation and public art programs and commitment to Perfect Match by increasing funding by 20%.

Cr. Smith noted: “We have heard loud and clear from artists, musicians, and creative venues that they need support right now. 

“This suite of measures includes tangible actions that Council can take straight away to support our local creative community and reinvigorate live music and arts in the Inner West.”

Mayor Byrne has written to minister Franklin and Federal arts minister Tony Burke regarding the outcomes of the Summit.

Byrne is confident both Ministers will embrace the findings and a bright future for the creative community of the Inner West and broader NSW lies ahead.

“The Inner West will be the beating heart of this change,” the mayor said. 

“With the feedback from the Summit report, and collaboration from key stakeholders including the Arts and Culture Advisory Group, we’ll be able to develop a robust Arts and Music Recovery Plan that will help put the Inner West’s creative community back on track.”

In the meantime, Council is asking for feedback on the trial of the Enmore Road Special Entertainment Precinct.

It began on September 1 and goes until November 30.

Premises that host live entertainment could operate for an additional 30 minutes, and footpath dining until 11 pm.

Last Thursday to Sunday, Enmore Road was filled with live music, DJs, a battle of the bands, a pizza eating competition, a drag queen zine workshop, and beer brewing class.


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