NSW Labor wants to ease restrictions on live music, as thousands call for an industry bailout.
NSW Labor wants to ease restrictions on live music, as thousands call for an industry bailout.

Major push to bring back live gigs

NSW Labor wants to breathe life into Sydney’s music scene by easing restrictions on gigs.

A new Labor bill would, if enacted, remove conditions from liquor licences that bans pubs and venues from featuring certain genres of live music.

The amendment to the Liquor Act 2007, named “The Right to Play Music” bill, would also require the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to take work opportunities for musicians into consideration when making decisions.

Shadow Minister for Music John Graham told reporters prior to introducing the bill in the state parliament’s upper house that the proposed changes could help thousands of musicians in NSW.

“We know there are more than 600 venues that these restrictions impact, and we know the potential for growth in the NSW music industry is huge”, Mr Graham said.

Labor MLC John Graham speaks to reporters on Wednesday. Image supplied by the Labor Party
Labor MLC John Graham speaks to reporters on Wednesday. Image supplied by the Labor Party

He appeared at a press conference alongside Labor leader Jodi McKay and a handful of musicians from bands like The Preatures, All Our Exes Live in Texas, and Karma County.

Meanwhile, dozens of NSW music venues have united to launch a campaign to “Save our Stages”.

The group’s petition to state parliament calling for a stimulus package for the music industry had amassed more than 19,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

The coronavirus pandemic and night-life restrictions have had a negative impact on music venues in NSW, especially in Sydney where the live music scene had already shrunk thanks to lockout laws imposed in 2014 and lifted earlier this year.

A report following a parliamentary inquiry into the effect of the laws included a recommendation the liquor licence restrictions on live music be lifted, which Stuart Ayres, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, supported in his response in November last year.

Originally published as Major push to bring back live gigs


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