Illegal Warehouse Parties Boom as Sydney Says Screw You to Lockout

Because nobody tells Australians when we can and can not get munted off our faces, it looks as if the introduction of strict new licensing laws in Sydney has led to an unintended boom in warehouse parties and illegal raves around the city.

The SMH report that in the months since Sydney introduced the laws – with 1.30am lockouts and 3.00am last drinks – there has been an increase in the number of unlicensed, unregulated parties in warehouses and other vacant spaces in the industrial belt of the inner city. 

Venues themselves are beginning to suffer the effects. Murat Kilic said that his club Spice Cellar, already hit hard by the new Star Casino precinct, is losing even more business to warehouse events, proliferating in numbers not seen “since their heyday in the late 1980s.”

Safety – or lack thereof – is the main concern, with patrons drinking their own BYO alcohol and freely taking drugs in venues with little to no security and a variety of other potential hazards.

“The police don’t even know what’s happening, otherwise it wouldn’t be happening,” Kilic continued, frustrated at the lack of awareness on the part of law enforcement. “It just shows their lack of understanding of what lockouts are actually doing on the ground.” 

One DJ, going by the hilarious and we can only presume fake name of “Ian” rather sheepishly admitted that he has organised a number of parties that would “fall short” of official safety standards.

There are reports of regular weekend parties attended by 800 to 1000 people, but “Ian” reckons that these numbers are greatly exaggerated, with most parties drawing around 200 to 300.

He told the Herald that he has never seen a fight or an ambulance called to any of his events, and on the subject of drugs, he said duh, people do them but “because these are essentially private parties, people are taking care of themselves and taking care of each other.”

A crackdown may be imminent, so if you plan on bragging to future friends and co-workers about how you were a part of Sydney’s 2014 warehouse boom, you’d better get your arse into gear and get to one of these things. 
Photo: Sergio Dionisio via Getty Images