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Sydney Fringe Festival report highlights the prohibitive restrictions hindering creative industries

Sydney Fringe Festival report highlights the prohibitive restrictions hindering creative industries
November 29, 2018

Sydney Fringe has launched An Anthology of Space 2015-2018, a 94-page report outlining prohibitive restrictions preventing Sydney’s creative sectors from activating empty industrial warehouse spaces and retail shop fronts.

An Anthology of Space proposes solutions to overcome the onerous red tape it says is strangling Sydney’s creative sectors.

The report was funded by the NSW Department of Industry, Liquor and Gaming's cultural infrastructure grant program and comes two weeks after a parliamentary inquiry into the live music scene found the sector was crushed by onerous regulations. The inquiry made 60 recommendations to revive the state's ailing music industry.

Sydney Fringe Festival Director and Chief Executive, Kerri Glassock, says the most common problem for artists in NSW is the lack of affordable and appropriate space in which to make and present work year round.

Despite this need, the report points to prohibitive restrictions - regulatory and financial - hindering artists and creative industries from bringing new life to underutilised industrial and retail spaces through temporary artist projects.

The report identified a shortage of large-scale temporary space, which is currently limited to Carriageworks, Sydney Town Hall and the International Convention Centre.

Emilya Colliver, Director of the online art gallery Art Pharmacy, said she would like developers to think about incorporating flexible cultural spaces in new developments that are well-connected by public transport.

An Anthology of Space calls for a variation to the National Construction Code - due to be updated in 2019 - that would allow small arts venues to be treated for planning purposes in a similar way as restaurants.

Glasscock advised “if artists were able to legally and affordably use available empty spaces, the current venue crisis would literally cease to exist."

Sydney Fringe Festival highlights several case studies drawing on the past four years of experience delivering NSW’s largest independent arts festival annually, with more than 2000 participating local artists needing temporary space in which to present their work.

Examples in the report point to planning and building regulations stifling attempts to reactivate empty shop fronts, as well as light and large-scale industrial warehouses.

Solutions proposed in the report include more nuanced risk assessments by police of low impact creative events and a one-off fee for change-of-use development applications.

Glasscock added “if existing retail space was opened up to the performance sector, the city and its high streets could be peppered with 30-60 seats performance spaces operating up to 10pm to support a varied nightlife and diversify night-time economies.

Click here to access the report.

The Sydney Fringe Festival is supported by the City of Sydney.

For more information go to https://www.sydneyfringe.com

Related Articles

23rd July 2018 - Review to assess future Live Music Office operations

27th June 2018 - Popular Sydney live music venues to benefit from over $200,000 in grant funding

22nd May 2018 - Local acts and venues to shine for Vivid Sydney

21st March 2018 - Business group reveals plan to develop Sydney’s night-time economy

9th November 2017 - Auckland Fringe to return as annual event in 2018

3rd July 2017 - Create NSW opens call to regions to stage micro-music festivals

26th April 2017 - Festival audiences boost Sydney businesses

31st August 2015 - Live music lounge tops Sydney Town Hall during spring

18th June 2015 - Adelaide Fringe contributes $68 million to South Australian economy

12th March 2015 - More live music in inner Sydney

26th March 2014 - Live music venues threatened by new laws and noise complaints

20th November 2013 - Task force calls for cut in ‘red tape’ to save live music industry

20th September 2011 - Live Music worth $1.2 billion to Australian economy


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