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Sydney’s lack of nightlife undermines its ‘extraordinary cultural assets’
A new report highlighting the role live music plays in the economic and social ecosystem of cities has recommended that the NSW Government appoints a Minister for Music in addition to the Minister for the Arts to help reverse a “slowly disintegrating” contemporary music ecosystem in Sydney.
Call for new Minister for Music to boost live music’s economic and social contribution
The music and arts economy in New South Wales report says that contemporary music, continues to play a vital role in the economic and social vitality of the state but advised “this sector has traditionally been neglected by governments,” it stated.
Some of the key points the report found were that the introduction of the lockout laws were a “sledgehammer” to the city’s night-life that resulted in the closure of live music venues.
The perception of Sydney as a vibrant night-time economy has been replaced by the “negative narrative of an out-of-control night-time”.
Sydney is not a 24-hour city and does not harness the potential of its “extraordinary cultural assets”, the report warned.
Residents are dissatisfied with the city’s eating, drinking and entertainment options, the lack of cultural activities, and the cost of living, while tourists are deterred from visiting Sydney due to the lack of suitable night-time activities.
The report’s warnings come despite NSW recording the largest share of Australia’s contemporary music activity. In 2016, it generated the highest share of contemporary music revenue at $157.6 million and 1.91 million people attended contemporary music performances.
This week’s Global Cities after Dark forum also highlighted the need for new solutions for a thriving nightlife in Sydney.
The event was curated and presented via the partnership of Mirik Milan, Global Night Mayor Advocate and co-founder of VibeLab and Electronic Music Conference, and comes just after City of Sydney Mayor Clover Moore proposed a 24-hour city, in a bid to reignite the city’s nightlife and economy.
Milan said the key to changing the face of Sydney was to implement small pilot phases of 24-hours across the city, the creation of workspaces in nightclubs and abolish happy hour.
Moore advised “I think Mirik’s idea of opening up venues that are traditionally used at night during the day for creative work spaces is very interesting and I will ask staff to investigate if this idea might also work in Sydney.
“I have advocated for liquor licensing reform for many years and support measures to remove lifetime liquor licensing and reward well-managed venues in our city.”
The Committee for Sydney also released a report earlier this year, Sydney As A 24-Hour City. Michael Rose, Chair of the Committee for Sydney, argued that if Sydney fails to become a 24-hour city, such failure will have serious economic and social ramifications for Sydney’s competitive capacity, particularly with respect to retaining and recruiting talent and investment, and amenity.
9th November 2018 - Artists and entertainers rally to save Sydney’s historic Theatre Royal
12th August 2018 - PwC report says Sydney is ‘no fun’ for residents
22nd June 2018 - NSW Government invests in musical theatre and visitor economy
21st March 2018 - Business group reveals plan to develop Sydney’s night-time economy
2nd March 2017 - Grants aim to revive Sydney’s live music scene
1st February 2016 - Sydney theatres underutilised and inaccessible
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