The Keep Sydney Open team have announced that they will be holding a rally in Kings Cross this Saturday, January 21. Following on from two hugely successful rallies last year, this weekend’s will be conducted in opposition to the Baird Government’s pitiful changes to the lockout laws, namely the insulting thirty minute extension to lockout and last drinks times.
The special musical guests for the event will be Flight Facilities, who have been highly vocal about how Sydney’s nightlife is where they – among countless other artists – first found their feet, their first ever gigs taking place at Hugo’s, which shut down last year because of the lockouts. They have since gone on to perform at the biggest venues and festivals around the world. In a press release, they wrote, “Having met in Kings Cross nearly 9 years ago, the place holds a special place in our hearts. We, personally, realise the importance of nightlife as a breeding ground for ideas and talent. To stand by and watch the continual erosion of a vital stone in the path to our success would be a disservice to Sydney, its music lovers and other potential musicians.”
Keep Sydney Open directer Tyson Koh also writes, “Mike Baird is failing our city and its dynamic people. Instead of considering the smart solutions that the greatest cities in the world use to create fun and safe urban environments, heʼs sticking with the blunt, dumb policy of locking up Sydney so he doesnʼt have to think about it anymore.”
“A thirty-minute extension will not be enough to reverse the damage being done to the cultural areas and small businesses that make Sydney an exciting place to be. Itʼs barely enough time to line up for the bathroom or get a kebab.
“Itʼs sad that the government doesnʼt have the ambition or leadership to try and achieve the best outcome for Sydneysiders. We want smart and innovative policies that will make Sydney a world-leading city for culture, entertainment, and nightlife, and if the government isnʼt interested in that outcome, then weʼll start doing it without them.
“For too long the debate about our city and how we live our lives has been dominated by misinformation and fear-mongering. We call on the lobby groups who support the lockout laws to enter the conversation about smart solutions, instead of clearing people off the streets.”
A press release goes on to detail the specific, evidence-based solutions proposed by KSO:
- Developing best-practice policing strategies;
- Investing in 24/7 public transport;
- Implementing integrated urban planning reform;
- Encouraging diversification of after-dark activities;
- Establishing anti-violence education & intervention campaigns;
- Incentivising well-run venues; and
- Appointing a Night Mayor or office charged with managing Sydneyʼs night-time economy.
Keep an eye on the official Facebook event for information and updates about the rally.