Thousands of Sydney residents turned out to protest the New South Wales government’s late-night lockout laws, proving once again that the policies are pretty widely reviled by a large – and vocal – portion of the community. 

The second Keep Sydney Open rally kicked off at Belmore Park in the city’s centre around noon, before touring around the streets that once played host to an internationally-envied late-night scene. 

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Punters took up placards damning the restrictive laws and their continual impact on local businesses. Others drew attention to the much-maligned exemptions granted by Premier Mike Baird’s government to the Star Casino.

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Keep Sydney Open organiser Tyson Koh also spoke to the masses at Taylor Square, outlining the knock-on effects the lockout laws will have not just on the local economy, but also on Australia’s cultural output. 

Koh said “there is so much talent, and that’s what breaks my heart… and that stuff, that music, that genius, it does not happen by itself.

Music, it happens in the bedrooms, but it also happens in venues as well. And when you kill off the vibrancy that means that a venue of 50 or 60 people has to close, it means that the people who are just starting out their careers have no place to play or perform in front of a crowd.

Because these spaces are vital. It is where we fall in love, it is where we listen to undiscovered talent. These places are incubators, and at every single level up the chain, whether that’s a 100-person venue, a 200, 400-person venue… or an arena, in Homebush, this does not happen when you kill off the grassroots level of our city or our society.”

He also called for the Premier to recognise the damaging effects the laws have had on the late-night industry, before the government responds to a landmark report into the laws’ efficacy by the end of the year. 

Call us hopeless optimists, but if the movement can continue to carry this kind of momentum and organisation, something might just change. 

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Source: ABC. 
Photo: @justaboy / Instagram.

Keep Sydney Open Rally Draws Thousands To Save The City’s Dying Nightlife