For some Sydneysiders February 2014 marks the beginning of the slow demise of their city’s nightlife and the array of diverse culture that came with it.
As an oppositional response to the NSW government’s policies, Keep Sydney Open formed as a group of people who support the idea that entertainment and safety can happen simultaneously. After hosting two massive rallies in 2016, Keep Sydney Open aren’t slowing down – with their first protest of 2017 in January.
Do you believe Sydney’s nightlife can prosper with positive energy and safety? Join thousands in a peaceful, yet urgent walk through Sydney in Keep Sydney Open’s first rally on a Saturday night.
In Febraury 2016, Keep Sydney Open held their first rally from Belmore Park in Central through the CBD, ending up at Bar Century where a mock funeral was held for the beloved and missed venue.
In October, a second march was held attracting over 10,000 people. Starting again at Belmore Park, Central, it wandered through Oxford Street towards Taylor Square.
Many artists have showed their support for Keep Sydney Open by attending and performing, such as Art vs Science, Royal Headache, The Preatures’ Isabella Manfredi, Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus, One Day, Hayley Mary from The Jezabels and Urthboy. Other notable supporters include FBi Radio, Oxford Art Factory and Laneway Festival.
At rally #3, Flight Facilities will play for the protesters with a special performance reminiscent of their first gigs at Hugo’s in Kings Cross.
“Having met in Kings Cross nearly 9 years ago, the place holds a special place in our hearts. We, personally, realise the importance of nightlife as a breeding ground for ideas and talent. To stand by and watch the continual erosion of a vital stone in the path to our success would be a disservice to Sydney, its music lovers and other potential musicians,” Flight Facilities said in a statement.
In Decemeber 2016, the NSW government chose to continue the current lockout laws with little amendment. Premier Mike Baird announced within the lockout law area, closing times would be extended from 1:30AM to 2AM and last drink purchases from 3AM to 3:30AM while takeaway alcohol sales lengthened from 10PM to 11PM.
Like thousands of people who believe Sydney is one of the greatest cities in the world, campaign director Tyson Koh feels let down by his government.
“Itʼs sad that the government doesnʼt have the ambition or leadership to try and achieve the best outcome for Sydneysiders. We want smart and innovative policies that will make Sydney a world-leading city for culture, entertainment, and nightlife, and if the government isnʼt interested in that outcome, then weʼll start doing it without them,” Koh said in a statement.
According to Keep Sydney Open, their “previous two rallies brought more citizens of NSW onto the streets than any other political cause in 2016” which has lead to “Keep Sydney Open becoming a key stakeholder in the night time economy roundtable and earning direct meetings with government leadership.”
Check out the event on Facebook here.