Bars and restaurants in Sydney’s inner-city suburbs are reportedly being told by locals to keep it down, which sounds like some very anti-Freedom Day energy, tbh.
Now that 70% of the state’s 16 and over population has been fully vaccinated, restaurants, cafes, and pubs (as well as standing while drinking outdoors) are back on the menu. People are lining up and sitting outside with a pint and loud drunken chats with friends not in a Zoom call have resumed.
But, if you go to a venue in the inner-city right now, you might find a lack of live music. After two years of silence, some residents in the inner-city are pushing back against the bars and restaurants in their surroundings sounding back to normal.
Stephan Gyory is a record store owner in Darlinghurst. His store is off Crown St and down the road from Oxford St.
According to him, via the Sydney Morning Herald, he was reportedly told to turn down music in his shop at 8:30pm on a Saturday after he received a complaint he believed was from residents in a neighbouring apartment village.
“We wanted to say to the local businesses, ‘Let’s have some outdoor entertainment with your dining’, and we just got a point-blank ‘no’,” he told the SMH.
“No one’s talking about having a rock band on the back of a truck.”
Brandon Martignago, who owns Dulcie in Kings Cross and serves as Potts Point Partnership chairman, added that “Suffocating [these businesses] when they have a chance to reopen is detrimental to any world-class city.”
Look, part of me gets this. After lockdown killed the city, it feels weird hearing noises outside your window that aren’t from your next door neighbour. However, I’d argue that we all deserve a bit of live music or banging playlists turned TF up after everything, as a treat.
Sidebar: did people forget what it was like living in the city and nearby it pre-panini?
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney council said that there was “no plan at this time to reverse existing controls that limit fixed outdoor live music at venues in city high streets to avoid noise impacts on residents”. Instead, they have offered an alternative coming later this year.
From December to the end of January, the City will launch an initiative that will see musicians performing on the main streets of Darlinghurst, Glebe, Surry Hills, Redfern, and Newtown for two hours a day.
“Clearly there is a balance to be struck,” Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues, who pitched this idea, said.
“But cities are not libraries. And people living near to venues should expect an element of sound, just as those living on the flight path should expect planes going overhead.”
But, if you’re planning on vibing to some tunes at a pub in Surry Hills all Alfresco-style, you might have to wait a bit. For now, catch me having a cheeky bev at the pub before having my own live music with some mates at home.
In case you missed it, while Monday was Freedom Day for a lot of us, things weren’t as sweet and simple for people in front-facing jobs like retail and hospitality.