Keep Sydney Open - MusicNSW

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has announced that the lock out laws will be implemented as soon as February 24th 2014.

From February 24, 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks in the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts and a statewide ban on takeaway alcohol from 10pm will come into force.

The legislative measures which will come into effect on 24 February include:

  • Creation of the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
  • 1.30am lockouts enforced at hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs and karaoke bars across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
  • 3am cease service of alcohol in those venues across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
  • Introduction of temporary banning orders for troublemakers in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
  • A freeze on new liquor licences and approvals for existing licences across the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct; and
  • A ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm across NSW.

“The NSW Government makes no apologies for these tough measures – businesses and patrons will need to adjust to the changes because improving the safety and amenity of the CBD is in everyone’s interests,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“I expect the vast majority of venues will do the right thing and implement the new trading conditions without incident. However, any failure to comply can result in fines of up to $11,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months – and is an offence that can incur a strike under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.

In response, the Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance has been formed by a variety of key Sydney live music and performance venues, cultural organisations and music industry stakeholders, including us here at MusicNSW. Together we have joined to fight these tough new laws imposed on those who work and play in the city.


  • Live music venues have been demonstrated to increase feelings of safety in the nighttime environment, improve social bonds, and contribute to overall wellbeing and happiness (Deloitte Access Economics, 2011)
  • There are over 2,500 licensed premises in the City of Sydney LGA. Of these only 143 are registered with APRA|AMCOS as live music venues (CoS Live Music and Performance Action Plan, 2013).
  • As live music venues generally trade with lower profit margins, reduced patronage as a result of the lockout laws will result in higher rates of closure for cultural venues than general licensed premises that are subsidised by gaming or pokies revenue
  • A freeze on license approvals in the lockout zone is going to stifle the cultural growth of our city, right at a time when small bars and cultural venues are proving to actually reduce violence


  • That any model to reduce alcohol and drug related violence in Sydney should be based on the experiences of other global cities, and not the model imposed on Newcastle, a regional town.
  • That based on evidence, a lockout and many of the Premier’s other proposals are designed to fail. We do not support a 130am lockout or 3am closure of licensed venues that are geared towards cultural activity – be that live music, theatre, performance art, or some other form.
  • Significant improvements must be made to Sydney’s transport system, in the CBD and surrounds to ensure public transport remains accessible long into the night and that people can get home quickly and safely.

We support safe nights in a global city. We support live music.

Our mission is to Keep Sydney Open! 

Sign this petition to have your say:

Members of the Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance include MusicNSW, FBi Radio 94.5fm, Australian Music Industry Network, 2ser 107.3fm, Street Press Australia, In The Mix, GoodGod Small Club, Oxford Art Factory, MyChoice Australia, The Music Network and Save Our Nightlife.

Are you a Sydney live music or performance venue, industry stakeholder or cultural organisation? Want to join us in the fight? Contact our Executive Officer Kirsty Brown on