Just because you’re the hottest rapper alive or an intergalactic rock god, don’t think that you can get around Sydney’s strict lockout and last drinks laws.
Apparently international musicians including Prince, Drake, Madonna, Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins and Ed Sheeran have all been denied entry to Merivale venues in Sydney’s CBD – including ivy and Establishment – because they arrived after the 1.30am lockout.
The revelation comes in Merivale’s submission to the Callinan review into lockouts, as Business Insider picked up. The submission marks the first time that the hospitality empire has openly criticised Sydney’s restrictions; previously, Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes has said that the club and pub giant is “finished” with nightclubs, and is looking to shift focus to bars and restaurants in the future.
In its submission to the lockouts review, Merivale said it’s concerned that Sydney will “regulate ourselves into oblivion” as landmark city and Kings Cross venues close, and thousands of jobs disappear as hospitality business lose up to 30% of their turnover.
“Broadly speaking,” Merivale said, “we support common-sense measures to reduce alcohol-related violence and we don’t know any hospitality operator that doesn’t. However, we have serious concerns about some blanket measures implemented under the Act that target a handful but affect many… As a city, we have come too far to now abandon our rightful place as a leading international hospitality destination through a stubborn adherence to measures that are having damaging impacts.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about international acts being left in the cold by Sydney’s lockout laws. When Wu-Tang Clan played in Sydney this February, they had to move their afterparty from the city to Bondi Junction to escape the1.30am lockout (RZA vowed that the Wu-Tang would overthrow the laws). And in 2014 a local promoter told inthemix that he’d had to knock back Justin Timberlake’s entourage from their own after-party because they rocked up at 1.45am.
The Callinan review into lockouts is reviewing submissions now, and is due to hand down its advice to the NSW government this August. You can read a selection of the best submissions to the review over here.