Leichhardt Council moves on plan to seek lockout exemptions for live music venues
Leichhardt Council is forging ahead with its plan to create a new category of venues for live music spaces that will be exempt from the state government’s lockout laws.
Council last night approved Mayor Darcy Byrne's proposal to have live music and performance venues granted exemptions from the government's tough alcohol restrictions.
It unanimously adopted a move to engage with the National Office of Live Music, the City of Sydney and Marrickville Councils to conduct research into the differences in drinking patterns in live music and performance venues compared to other licensed premises.
Byrne, whose municipality has been particularly hard hit by the closure of live music venues, has previously argued patrons at rock venues behave differently to those that attend beer barns.
The research results will then form part of Council’s submission to the review of the government's lockout laws.
“The Government’s knee jerk reactions have done terrible damage to Sydney’s live music scene and punished the very venues who have been operating free of violence for years,” he said.
“It’s time for musicians, music lovers and venue operators to be consulted rather than ignored about the lockout laws.
“If the State Government is going to continue disregarding the expertise of the music sector, then Leichhardt Council will step in and listen.
“We want to make sure that the sector can come up with its own definition of what a live music venue is, and propose smart, nuanced amendments to the government’s heavy handed laws."
The lockout laws were introduced in 2014 and affect venues in Kings Cross, Darling Harbour, The Rocks, Darlinghurst and parts of the CBD.
The laws mean no shots after 10:00pm, no new customers after 1:30am and no alcohol served after 3:00am.