This Sunday Keep Sydney Open will be hosting a public rally in order to fight the lockout laws that have been plaguing our good city. Today the Queensland government passed a bill putting lockout laws in effect, another unbelievable notion in a backwards attempt to subdue street violence. NSW Premier Mike Baird’s ludicrous stance on leaving the controversial curfew in effect has rallied tens of thousands of citizens to effectively ‘unlock’ Sydney.
Meeting in Belmore Park at Central the rally will make its way into the CBD after 1pm before arriving at everybody’s favourite hole in the wall Bar Century to hold a mock funeral for the closing venue and others like it.
It’s going to be a big day, with confirmed performances from Art Vs Science and Royal Headache. Not to mention speeches from The Preatures’ Isabella Manfredi, Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus, Political Editor of Crikey Bernard Keane and Tyson Koh of Keep Sydney Open who will also MC the day.
Not even five years ago Melbourne faced a similar predicament when the SLAM movement (Save Live Australia’s Music) attracted the support of 17 000 punters and helped revolutionise the city’s new approach to nightlife and resulted in the Victorian government actively supporting live music. As citizens, it’s our responsibility to march alongside like-minded legends and support the city’s culture.
So you may be asking yourself, what exactly does Keep Sydney Open plan to do? Amongst all the rhetoric and Casino Mike memes there’s a danger of losing sight of trying to find a solution that keeps venues open AND keeps people safe from street violence. If you support the following 8 points then we expect to see your mug at that rally!
1. The removal of the 1:30am lockout
2. 3am cease of service exemptions for licensed premises that are predominantly live music venues
3. An end to the new license freeze for predominantly live music venues and small bars
4. The lifting of restrictions on retail hours
5. Late-night public transport, like in Melbourne
6. The introduction of a Night Mayor, like in Amsterdam and Berlin
7. An invitation from government to discuss next steps in partnership with those whose livelihoods depend on the music and cultural industries thriving in Sydney
8. Police to work with not against the responsible venues who provide safe nights out in a global city
After all, just because there are accidents on the road doesn’t mean there’s a ban on people driving cars, so why should all of Sydney’s nightlife suffer (sans casino) for trouble caused by violence?
If you’re keen to support Keep Sydney Open before the rally the team could use your help preparing for it. They’re meeting Redfern’s 107 Porjects and you can lend a hand making placards, cutting flyers . And on the day of the rally you can help out by handing out flyers and selling t-shirts. All volunteers get a free t-shirt and the gratification that they’ve helped keep Sydney alive. That’s a story worth telling your grand kids, preferably over a beer after 10pm. If you want to be involved you can email Tyson Koh at [email protected].
All the essential information can be found at the rally Facebook event, so be sure to head there and click attending!