Music

Here’s Why Your Favourite Sydney Venues Are Going Quiet This Weekend

It's gonna be a quiet weekend.

Well, it’s gonna be a quiet weekend in Sydney — more than 20 iconic venues are turning off the music at midnight on Saturday, in a protest against the damage the lockout laws have done to live music and nightlife in this city.

The protest is being organised by Keep Sydney Open to mark 100 days until the next state election (or in other words, 100 days until the next opportunity to do something about the laws decimating Sydney’s live music scene).

And make no mistake, things are getting dire. As Tyson Koh from the Keep Sydney Open political party put it, “there has been a net loss of 175 venues since the lockout laws were introduced, and the recent scapegoating of music festivals has shown the NSW Government is not going to stop until they destroy all the fun in NSW.” Even just in the past month, the news has been full of sad announcements from iconic venues that just can’t survive under the NSW government’s policies.

“Music venues are vital for any creative city and we think music policy should be in people’s minds come election time,” said Mark Gerber, owner of the Oxford Art Factory, which will be shutting off its music for the protest on Saturday.

David Abram, owner of another participating venue, Freda’s in Chippendale, agreed, pointing out that “it’s more than just about music”.

“We also stage art exhibitions, spoken word nights, talks and markets,” he said. “Venues provide an essential service to many Sydney communities and need to be valued higher than they currently are.”

Some of the venues shutting off the music early on Saturday include the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown, Oxford Art Factory, the Kings Cross Hotel, Newcastle’s The Family Hotel, Bathurst’s DK Pool Club, Freda’s, Chingalings, and the Narrabeen RSL.

So if you find the sudden silence this weekend annoying, remember that it’s for a good cause, and maybe channel some of that annoyance into the next election. You can find out more information at Keep Sydney Open.