The Brag Media
News June 15, 2020

Sydney takes first steps towards post-pandemic 24-hour city

Sydney takes first steps towards post-pandemic 24-hour city

Sydney has taken the first steps towards becoming a 24-hour city when restrictions are lifted.

Restrictions on live music venues will be mostly lifted on July 1, with nightclubs and music festivals a possibility from August.

The law has been changed for a flurry of new nightclubs and venues to be opened in two entertainment precincts after the NSW government made it easier to get liquor licences.

All this followed the announcement on the weekend of Great Southern Nights, an initiative by ARIA and the state government to stage 1,000 COVID-safe gigs in November.

The first 12 of the headliners are Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo, Tones And I, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, The Presets, Thelma Plum and The Veronicas.

Stuart Ayres, NSW minister for jobs, investment, tourism and Western Sydney, called it a big step with the NSW government’s “24-hour economy strategy set to reinvigorate Sydney’s nightlife”.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced that from July 1, all venue restrictions like the 50-maximum will be scrapped with only the one person per four square metre rule to remain.

There will be an easing back into ticketed events with outdoor cultural venues of up to 40,000 allowed to let in 25% of their respective capacities.

While the federal government has no plans to allow nightclubs to reopen anytime soon, because of poor COVID-19 transmissions overseas, NSW is looking at a reboot on August 1.

But this depends on whether the state continues to have minimal community-transmission cases.

Music festivals could be a possibility as well, but these changes will not save Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay, which this year was set to attract 50,000 punters.

Last week the event, which initially moved to mid-spring, decided to play it safe and reschedule its 20th-anniversary celebrations to 2021.

The premier said, “The community has worked incredibly hard over the past few months which has allowed us to be where we are today. However, we can’t let our guard down.”

In a separate move towards the 24-hour city target, new operators of nightclubs and venues no longer have to get their liquor licenses by transferring from a venue that has closed.

Instead, they apply directly to Liquor and Gaming NSW, which costs $560 for a club, and almost $800 for a nightclub, while a full hotel licence is about $2,800.

The freeze on licenses was placed eleven years ago, after complaints that a flurry of new licensed venues was creating an anti-social atmosphere across the city.

Initially, the freeze was in Kings Cross and parts of the CBD and was extended to the entire CBD when the 2014 lockouts came in and ended the city’s bustling nightlife economy.


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