Keep Sydney Open Is Holding a Huge Rally to Protest the Lockouts

Featuring a mock funeral for closed venues at Bar Century.
Shannon Connellan
Published on February 15, 2016

Hate the lockouts? We're with you. Keen to really, actually, physically do something to show your discontent with the Sydney lockout laws? Lobby group Keep Sydney Open are holding a huge rally on February 21 to protest the State Government's controversial laws and the affect they're having on Sydney.

Starting at Belmore Park in Central at 12.30pm, the rally will then make its way into the CBD. The crowd will stop by the soon-to-close George Street staple Bar Century for a mock funeral for all businesses and venues closed, and jobs lost since the lockouts were instated.

Legendary Sydneysiders and nightlife supporters will be joining the rally for speeches, including Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures), Bernard Keane (political editor of Crikey and author of A Short History of Stupid) and Keep Sydney Open founder Tyson Koh. There'll also be performances from Sydney favourites Royal Headache — who wore Keep Sydney Open shirts at their Flaming Lips support set for Sydney Festival — and Art vs Science — who recently released a song in protest of the lockouts. More speakers will be announced during the week.

There will be t-shirts on sale at Belmore Park before the rally proceeds on.

The Keep Sydney Open rally is pushing certain actions on the Sunday, including:

- lockout exemptions for licensed premises that are predominantly live music venues
- an end to the new licence freeze for predominantly live music venues and small bars
- the lifting of restrictions on retail hours
- late-night public transport, like in Melbourne
- the introduction of a Night Mayor, like in Amsterdam and Berlin
- an invitation from government to discuss next steps in partnership with those whose livelihoods depend on the music and cultural industries thriving in Sydney
- police to work with not against the responsible venues who provide safe nights out in a global city

Keep Sydney Open's rally starts at 12.30pm at Belmore Park, Central on February 21. Head to the Facebook event page for more info.

Image: Andy Fraser, Laneway Festival (who support Keep Sydney Open).

Published on February 15, 2016 by Shannon Connellan
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