$1.5M boost to Sydney & NSW night-time economy

Sydney precincts and NSW live music events will benefit from investment of $1.5 million from the NSW Government aimed at stimulating the night-time economy, Minister for Racing Paul Toole and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said today.

“Sydney is one of the great world cities and has a long tradition of music and entertainment that’s to be celebrated,” Mr Toole said.

“We’ve developed a package with two major elements. Firstly, we’re putting $1.5 million towards boosting night-time events, in particular live music, and secondly we’re cutting red tape and introducing innovative trading arrangements to enable businesses to thrive.”

Launching today, Mr Toole said a one-off $500,000 grants program for seven Sydney-based precincts aims to help individuals and organisations run street festivals, events, arts and entertainment.

The seven precincts supported through the Activate Sydney@Night initiative are Darlinghurst, Haymarket and George Street, Parramatta, Liverpool, Newtown, Opera House to Walsh Bay, and Pyrmont.

“This funding could support the late-night opening of cultural institutions, including galleries and museums, pop-up venues and installations, along with food and drink options and community events,” Mr Toole said.

A new type of pop-up liquor licence, which will be trialled in the seven precincts, will be introduced from March and help diversify the social, cultural and business offerings in the night-time economy

An expert advisory panel will be established to advise Government of ways to integrate liquor and planning approvals. The panel will look at opportunities to remove duplication, reduce red tape and make it easier to start and grow licensed businesses in NSW. Experts will also look at ways to encourage more roof top bars across Sydney.

“Sydney has some great roof-top bars, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Let’s take full advantage of the best cityscape and outlook in the world – if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” Mr Toole said.

Also launched today, Mr Harwin said live music across Sydney and NSW will be supported through a new one-off $1 million Music NOW fund that will support the presentation of contemporary acts and increase participation in live music events across the State.

“Helping stage gigs, festivals and other music events in NSW will not only support a sustainable music sector but also help to contribute to a vibrant night-time economy,” Mr Harwin said.

“Whether it’s a one-off gig, outdoor event or series of club nights, we’re eager to enable more opportunities for contemporary music across our cities and State. I encourage venues, promoters and musicians to come forward to apply for this opportunity.”

Mr Toole said a three-month blitz on outdated licence conditions, such as limitations on types of music that can be performed at a venue, is currently underway.

“There might be conditions remaining on some licences that no longer serve a purpose, so affected venues have the opportunity to have them removed, free of charge,” Mr Toole said.

More information can be found at nsw.gov.au/nighttimeeconomy