Lockout laws have been a disaster for live music ticket sales in Sydney

Ticket sales for live venues in the Sydney CBD lockout zone have plummeted by 40 per cent and attendance at nightclubs and dance venues has fallen by 19 per cent since the lockout laws were introduced, according to the Federal Government’s Live Music Office.

The statistics are based on data collected by APRA-AMCOS, the body that gathers and distributes royalties to musicians, between January 31, 2013 and February 1, 2015. The lockout laws were introduced in February 2014.

“These figures demonstrate the actual impacts for musicians, venues, businesses. People are looking at this closely to try and find away through because they are going out of business,” said the Live Music Office Policy Director John Wardle told the SMH. “The music industry had no time to prepare so the impacts were greater than they might have been. What we have [been handed] is an indiscriminate process that impacts well-run businesses.”

Wardle has urged the NSW Government to follow the lead of Victorian and South Australian governments in establishing a round-table with key industry figures to create a more considered approach to the regulation of live music. The Live Music Office has also recommended several measures to ensure sustainability and better regulation for the industry in New South Wales including exemptions from the 1.30am lockout for live music venues.

Community group Keep Sydney Open are staging an anti-lockouts rally this Sunday February 21, marching in response to what they call the “growing discontent with the State Government’s lockout laws and the negative affect they are having on Sydney”.

Kicking off at 12.30pm in Belmore Park, the rally will make its way into the CBD just after 1pm, stopping near the soon-to-close Bar Century to conduct a “mock funeral” for the venues, small businesses and jobs lost since the introduction of the lockout laws almost two years ago.

Big names like Isabella Manfredi from The Preatures, Dave Faulkner from the Hoodoo Gurus, Crikey Political Editor Bernard Keane and Keep Sydney Open Campaign Manager Tyson Koh will all be speaking at the rally, with Art vs Science and Royal Headache both locked in to perform.


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