Music

“We Are Heartbroken”: One Of Kings Cross’ Last Clubs Is ‘Disgusted’ It’ll Still Have Lockouts

"We weathered the lockouts for over five years and now we’re told that everyone else is being released, but not us."

Kings Cross candys apartment photo

After the NSW Government’s surprising announcement this weekend that they would remove Sydney’s controversial lockout laws though keep them in place in Kings Cross, yesterday Music Junkee published an article interviewing various industry figures about how (and if) the city’s once vibrant nightlife can recover.

The team behind Candys Apartment — one of the few remaining nightclubs in Kings Cross — have reached out to add their own statement, slamming the ‘despicable arrogance’ of the government to continually punish them.

While specifics are scarce, Premier Gladys Berejiklian told The Daily Telegraph that the 180 was the result of a need to “enhance Sydney’s nightlife”, but that the lockouts would stay in place in Kings Cross due to the suburb’s history of violence.

The announcement comes after a massive inquiry into the laws, which saw musicians, promoters and industry bodies make their case against the laws in front of a committee lead by Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Pivotally, the inquiry revealed that Sydney has seen a 10 percent drop in under-35s visiting since 2013, and has lost of almost half of its live music venues. 176 venues have closed since the beginning of 2014, when the laws were introduced.

In their statement, Candys owners express disappointment that the laws will still impact their venue, saying they’ve done everything they could to survive. They also say they’ve been “unfairly targeted by raids” and “noise complaints”, referencing a 72 venue shutdown in 2016 over an alleged drug supply chain.

“Candy’s is a family run venue which has been unfairly targeted by raids which found nothing, noise complaints, greed fuelled developers and overly aggressive code compliance inspectors,” they write. “We were the pioneers of many of the RSA policies in use by the state today.”

The statement was written by Candys marketing manager George Tulloch (also a former candidate for Keep Sydney Open Party) and booking manager Elliott Harper, on behalf of Michael and Sam Mancuso, the father and son team who own and run Candy’s Apartment.

“We weathered the lockouts for over 5 years and now we’re told that everyone else is being released, but not us,” it reads. “We welcome the lockout removal but find it absolutely disgusting that Gladys Berejiklian and her pack of NSW Liberal Party cronies could possibly hear the pain and suffering their laws have wrought on our family and think that we’re still part of the problem.”

“We wish the best of luck to all our fellows in the industry, but forgive us for not saying thank you.”

Read the full statement below.

Candy’s Apartment Statement On Sydney’s Lockout Law Repeal

We are heartbroken. Candy’s is a family run venue which has been unfairly targeted by raids which found nothing, noise complaints, greed fuelled developers and overly aggressive code compliance inspectors. We were the pioneers of many of the RSA policies in use by the state today.

We weathered the lockouts for over 5 years and now we’re told that everyone else is being released, but not us. We welcome the lockout removal but find it absolutely disgusting that Gladys Berejiklian and her pack of NSW Liberal Party cronies could possibly hear the pain and suffering their laws have wrought on our family and think that we’re still part of the problem. They are the only ones to blame by sticking their heads in the sand.

We call for the complete repeal of the lockout laws and the adoption of all Keep Sydney Open Party policies on culture and nightlife. The arrogance of this government is despicable, we wish the best of luck to all our fellows in the industry, but forgive us for not saying thank you.


Photo: Kings Cross via Sardaka under Creative Commons License 3.0