Perhaps in an effort to revive its desolate nightlife, the City of Sydney has today announced $1m in grants to supplement small businesses and live music venues scattered around the city.
The latest round of grants will go towards ten local businesses, with money expected to help launch new night-time programs or upgrade acoustics, stages and equipment.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, "The night-time economy is critical to Sydney’s future – it generates more than $4 billion in revenue each year, with 5,000 businesses employing more than 35,000 people.
“Since establishing our grant programs for night-time diversification and live music and performance, we have directly supported over 50 city businesses to put on new programming or undertake vital upgrades.
“From free late-night music at Mary’s Underground – which recently opened in the iconic Circular Quay site of The Basement – to drag bingo at the Dove and Olive in Surry Hills, this round of grants will further revitalise our nightlife and offer new events and activities to Sydneysiders and visitors of all ages and interests.”
However, the continued funding raises questions of how practical the infamous lockout laws are, considering the need to subsidise venues where business usually thrives.
Meanwhile, recent research has suggested that the lockout laws haven't had an effect on the amount of violence in the Sydney CBD, which was the initial impetus for the restrictions.
The topic was hot during the recent federal elections, with the Greens the only party looking to repeal the laws that see entry to clubs, bars and pubs end at 1.30am and last drinks at 3am. Labor promised to relax legislation that restricted over 600 live music venues in a bid to ease pressure on the entertainment sector, however did not aim to oppose the laws outright.
Revisit our Musicology column focusing on the Don't Kill Live Music movement.