VibeLab, MusicNSW launch planning program as ‘Sydney Future Proofing Report’ drops
Business is brutal right now, though the “slow-mo Sydney” reputation created by successive governments is, thankfully, becoming a thing of the past.
And, despite the chaos of the past two years, New South Wales remains “well placed” to come out of the pandemic in “decent shape,” provided action is taken.
That’s the upbeat message captured in VibeLab’s Sydney Future Proofing Report 2021, published today (Feb. 9) and based on discussion points and data presented at the most recent Global Cities After Dark Sydney forum.
Spanning 28 pages, the report is a snapshot of the main themes, takeaways and recommendations that emerged from the week-long program.
In it, are 10 best practice examples from night-time economies from around the world, which include the use and analysis of real-time data for a “more holistic picture of people’s movements,” improving the transport offering and presenting options to customers, and strengthening collaboration between the night-time industry and government.
Also, 14 recommendations are laid out from across the night-time economy sectors, from the protection of existing cultural spaces, to acknowledging and addressing biases and inequalities within the music industry, and working “with, not against” government bodies to create new opportunities for nightlife culture.
“I want us to think big,” says Michael Rodrigues, the NSW Government’s inaugural 24-Hour Economy Commissioner, in the report.
“There have been bumps along the way, but NSW is still well placed to come out of the pandemic in decent shape,” he adds.
“The focus now must be on accelerating the recovery and reshaping the city into an even better great place to live, work and play. Sydney is one of the few cities in the world to have a detailed 24-Hour Economy Strategy. We have an amazing opportunity to use the strategy to create something special in our city.”
There’s action to back those words.
Today, Vibelab launches a four-month program of industry planning sessions for the live music and hospitality industry, hosted and managed with MusicNSW, whose Managing Director Emily Collins was a guest speaker at the 2021 event.
According to a statement, the strategic exchange program will focus on bringing together industry organisations, peak bodies, businesses and individuals from across sectors to “advance key recommendations” from the Future Proofing Report.
The industry planning sessions are supported by the founding sponsor of Global Cities After Dark, City of Sydney through the Knowledge Exchange grant program.
“As Sydney is navigating the way forward through these immense challenges, it is the appropriate time to now focus on the task ahead and to collectively work together to create and enjoy the nightlife we have been yearning for,” comments Jane Slingo, VibeLab Asia Pacific Director / Co-Founder of Global Cities After Dark.
The Global Cities After Dark Sydney 2021 program brought together “an abundance of smart and committed people offering varied expertise and perspectives to identify what we collectively need to address and how we can approach these needs, together,” she continues.
“The Future Proofing Report articulates this, and VibeLab is looking forward to collaboratively advancing the recommendations as defined by the industries that are critical to driving Sydney’s 24-hour economy.”
More than 150 key players and champions from across Sydney’s night-time economy attended the Global Cities After Dark event, held in March 2021, long before the Delta and Omicron variants swept through the country.
Those industry-focused workshops and keynote sessions, says Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney Jess Scully, were an opportunity to regroup and use lessons learned throughout the lockouts and the lockdown, to plan a way forward.
“These past two years have tested all of our resilience,” comments Scully in a statement issued today.
“We have experienced dramatic and unprecedented change. Thankfully, this community is innovative, resilient and has stepped up to support each other during a very dark period.”
As Sydneysiders “emerge from the challenges of these past two years,” she adds, “we have a rare opportunity to shape what our city looks like after dark in a way that offers something for everyone.”
International speakers at the Global Cities After Dark event included Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & Managing Director of Impresario Entertainment (Mumbai, India); Paulette Long OBE, Deputy Chair of UK Music Diversity Task Force (London, U.K.); Vince Kadlubek, Founder of Meow Wolf (Santa Fe, U.S.); and Mark Curran, Rail Closures Planning Manager, formerly Night Tube Sponsor – Transport for London (London, U.K).
The report drops a week after the NSW government announced a $85 million emergency package for performing arts and live music, including $5 million provided to Support Act.
“Now more than ever,” said LPA CEO Evelyn Richardson on news of the latest support measures, “government support is needed to ensure the live entertainment industry can continue to play its part in the nation’s economic, social and cultural recovery.”
Download the Sydney Future Proofing Report 2021 here.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.