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Support Your Local Music Scene: Sign The Petition To Keep Sydney Open

Keep Sydney Open

If you’re a Sydneysider, there’s a strong chance you’ve experienced the effects of the city’s lockout laws firsthand over the past couple of years. At the very least, you’ve heard your mates go on about it. As per the NSW Government, you can no longer enter a pub, club or music venue in the CBD after 1.30am, and alcoholic drinks aren’t to be sold on licensed premises after 3am.

Among many other damaging consequences, the laws have gone a long way towards earning the title of “nanny state”; the general consensus among (rightfully) disgruntled citizens is that the law-abiding majority are being punished for the actions of a scumbag few, and that the city’s nightlife has become a husk of its former self. The comment thread on Premier Mike Baird’s Facebook post, which praises the apparent successes of the lockout laws, features input from performers, promoters and members of the media, with all of them focusing on the fact that countless small business owners, musicians and hospitality staff have lost their jobs as a result of the laws.

They got what they wanted.

Posted by Keep Sydney Open on Sunday, 7 February 2016

If there’s any light to be found at the end of this grey, Sydney-shaped tunnel, it’s that some likeminded members of the local music community – from venues and cultural organisations to generally concerned citizens – have banded together under the Keep Sydney Open banner to do just that. As it stands, the petition, which was actually launched two years ago, is just shy of its target of 40,000 signatures. The message to Mike Baird is one of cooperation, which stresses that “with considered, innovative policies we can achieve a desired outcome together”, while the group states that they’ll “keep making your voice heard until we get safer streets in a global city”.

If you haven’t already, you can sign the petition to Keep Sydney Open, and stay in touch with the group via Facebook and their website. If nothing else, your favourite local bands, venues and promoters will thank you.

Read Keep Sydney Open’s letter to Mike Baird below.

TO: PREMIER MIKE BAIRD

We urge you to remove the lockouts which have damaged business, culture, personal freedom and Sydney’s reputation.

The signatories here agree that the city’s streets should be safer, however we disagree that the way to do this is by locking people out of music venues.

With the decrease in foot-traffic outstripping the decrease in assaults, we question the success of the lockouts. When one factors in the business closures, job losses and increased crime in neighbouring areas, we wonder if they might in fact be a failure.

We demand smarter solutions — a holistic and lateral approach to preventing assaults which examines transport, CCTV, tougher sentencing, density and diversity of licensed premises, venue management, culture as a placating tool and the tendency towards violence among certain groups of individuals.

The music community and law-abiding citizens are not the right people to punish for assaults on the street. Well-run venues are safe and they make a large contribution to our reputation as one of the world’s great entertainment cities.

Safety is a goal shared by everyone. It’s important to remember that the main beneficiaries are the very people who wish to go out. We believe that safety and late-night socialising aren’t mutually exclusive. With considered, innovative policies we can achieve a desired outcome together and Keep Sydney Open.

Watch Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh discuss the Sydney lockout laws.

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