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Oxford Street Will Once Again Go Lockout-Free for Mardi Gras

The NSW Government is relaxing the usual lockout laws for the strip's 41st Mardi Gras celebrations.
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
February 28, 2019
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
February 28, 2019

This weekend, Mardi Gras is rounding out its 41st year with a downright epic finale and nothing's going to rain on its parade. Least of all, some pesky lockout laws.

That's right — the NSW Government has again agreed to ditch Oxford Street's usual lockout restrictions on Saturday, March 2, as the famed strip plays host to the annual Mardi Gras Parade and the massive crowds of revellers it pulls.

For this one night only, venues in the area will be allowed to let punters through the door beyond the usual 1.30am or 2am cut-off, though they can only serve alcohol according to their usual time restrictions — for most, that's 3am. Some venues, with half-an-hour live entertainment extensions, will be pouring and shaking till 3.30, including Stonewall, Oxford Art Factory and the Cliff Dive.

The lockout exemption zone, highlighted below, will stretch from the Burdekin Hotel — on the corner of Oxford and Liverpool streets — up to Victoria Street and across to the corner of Flinders and South Dowling streets, where the Taphouse is.

Courtesy of the NSW Government.

The lockout laws were first relaxed last year after a request by Liberal City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster. She wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying the move would "be a particularly poignant gesture of reconciliation given the historic passing of Australia's same-sex marriage legislation on 7 December 2017." This year, Cr Forster took to Facebook again to call for the lockouts to be relaxed for the full week leading up to the parade, but was unsuccessful.

Mardi Gras 2019 celebrations runs from February 15–March 3, with the parade taking place on Saturday, March 2.

Image: Jeffrey Feng.

Published on February 28, 2019 by Libby Curran
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