Midnight Shift to close Monday to Wednesdays
Iconic gay venue, the Midnight Shift which has been trading in the Oxford Street precinct for over thirty years is the latest casualty of the lockouts.
Leigh Harder, Marketing and Promotions Manager at the Shift told SX the venue will cease trading on Monday–Wednesday nights as a direct result of the impacts felt by the O’Farrell government's recently imposed lockout laws.
“Due to recent changes to the liquor legislation and the impact of the five-year freeze, the Shift had to make this difficult decision,” Harder told SX.
"With the five-year freeze, you can’t see the venue expand or change and there are a lot of hoops to jump through to make any changes at all, so it’s all had an impact. The Midnight Shift is a very difficult space to make accessible during the weekdays and now we’ve lost the trading time on the weekend which used to make up for the quieter nights on the week, we’ve had to make this choice.”
Harder believes the lockout laws are having an effect on all the venues in the precinct. “Oxford Street used to be the late night precinct,” says Harder, “but that’s gone now and it's affecting the whole strip - with Gay Bar shutting a few weeks ago as well – we’re going to see a lot of changes to Oxford Street.”
The venue which had been trading seven days a week for the past 30-years will move to a four day trading week commencing March 31.
The AHA NSW has warned more iconic city venues may be forced to cut back hours – or even close down, upon hearing the news of the Midnight Shift's plan to reduce trading hours.
“The concerning thing is that this may just be the beginning, I think we are going to see a lot more venues cut back their hours and even close down over coming weeks and months as a result of the Government’s actions,” AHA's John Green said.
“In Newcastle we saw over 20% of hospitality jobs lost as a result of the lockout and other laws put in place up there. The number of late trading venues dropped from 14 to four, and some of those have wound their hours back to weekends also – based on advice we expect it to be even worse in Sydney.”