Alison Wonderland, Flight Facilities & More Slam Sydney’s Lockout Laws As Plaques Laid At Shutdown VenuesWritten by Emmy Mack on September 26, 2016
A veritable justice league of Aussie musos including Alison Wonderland, Flight Facilities, RÜFÜS, Art Vs Science, Hayden James, Nina Las Vegas, Yolanda Be Cool, The Preatures and more have spoken out against the impact Sydney’s lockout laws have had on the venues which gave them their starts in the music industry.
Over the weekend, anti-lockouts movement Keep Sydney Open installed commemorative plaques outside 18 fallen venues (all of which have closed their doors since the NSW Government’s 1.30am lockout and 3am alcohol curfew came into effect) to drive home the message that live music cannot survive without venues for artists to hone their craft.
In a powerful symbolic gesture, each plaque positioned outside the skeleton of a decomposing venue comes bearing the endorsement of a big-name Aussie artist or band who cut their teeth at that exact establishment.
The majority of these artists have also taken to social media to share anecdotes about the role these now-deceased venues played in kickstarting their careers, and call upon the NSW Government to ditch the lockout laws and implement smarter, more forward-thinking solutions (like these ones) to improve community safety while also restoring the vibrance of Sydney’s nightlife.
Alison Wonderland, for instance, talked about how her residency at Q Bar (RIP) helped shape her into the artist she is today.
“Don’t know where I would be if I wasn’t given this opportunity,” she writes. “LOCKOUTS AREN’T THE ANSWER. We need our freedom back this isn’t footloose.”
While RÜFÜS reckon they wouldn’t be headlining Listen Out festival this year if it wasn’t for their early years spent playing local venues like Club 77 (RIP).
“We wouldn’t have gotten here coming up in today’s Sydney,” they write. “So many other Australian artists may not be discovered without somewhere to play. Surely we aren’t the only ones who want our city back.”
Other huge international-standard Aussie acts to endorse Keep Sydney Open’s latest demonstration include Flume, Peking Duk and even kiwi pop superstar Lorde, who #TIL played her first ever live show at Sydney’s Goodgod Small Club.
Catch some of the endorsing artists’ social media posts and plaque photos, below.
We met and developed our craft in many of Sydney’s venues. From Bang Gang & Starfuckers at 77, Bandits at Phoenix, Soho, Piano Room, Hugo's and even under the stairs at Ruby Rabbit. If Mike Baird or Barry O’Farrell were in government back then many of the artist we love wouldn't exist today. #KeepSydneyOpen we need it for the future of this city.
We played our first shows in venues that no longer exist. They’ve shut their doors because the lockout laws have crippled Sydney’s late night economy. Tomorrow we headline Listen Out Festival in Melbourne for 15,000 people. We wouldn’t have gotten here coming up in todays Sydney. So many other Australian artists may not be discovered without somewhere to play. Surely we aren’t the only ones who want our city back. #KeepSydneyOpen
If it wasn't for years of DJing and discovering new music in Sydney clubs like 34B with mate's @alisonwonderland @ninalasvegas @rufussounds @annalunoe @cassian88 @yolandabecooler @flightfac @donjoyride to name a few, we wouldn't be in the position we are in today as artists. I count myself so lucky to be able to make music for a living and it has a whole lot to do with the Sydney music scene I was brought up in. It's sad that so many aspiring Sydney musicians/DJs don't have the same opportunities we had. LOCKOUTS ARE NOT THE ANSWER! #keepsydneyopen
Walking around Sydney this weekend you can see a bunch of plaques commemorating the artists and bands who got their start at the inner city venues that've closed over the last 2 years because of the lock out laws. We met Gideon at the Lansdowne in 2009 and gigged for almost another 5 years in Sydney before finding any success. Such a small area has produced so many artists. Remember that culture and community matter #keepsydneyopen #flume #lorde #cloudcontrol #youami #flightfacilities #rufus #jagwarma #sneakysoundsystem #ninalasvegas #alisonwonderland #pekingduk #haydenjames
It's crazy and also really sad to think that kids today don't/won't have the luxury/experience/opportunities that we had growing up in Sydney. In fact, the first gig we ever did together, was the 3 til 6am set, a set that sadly, doesn't exist anymore with the draconian laws imposed on our night life. For the love of our city and the opportunities of our aspiring artists, we need to #KEEPSYDNEYOPEN
We ALL played at Hugos. Especially Sunday. You could see myself, @flightfac @bag_raiders @annalunoe @badezzy @cassian88 @dangerous_dan @listentobeni and of course @sneakysoundsystem at any given time. Not only would the locals keep it on lock, any international DJ with Sunday night off would roll through. From @lcdsoundsystem to @louisbrodinski… and boy, was it a party! It's currently Friday night and Kings Cross is now empty 🌬. Let alone busy on a Sunday. We need that excitement and culture back. We need venues to host the next generation of electronic musicians. We need to #KeepSydneyOpen.
We're so lucky to have had the opportunity to play music, meet like-minded people, and hone our craft at a venue like Hugo's Lounge. At the time we never understood just how lucky we were! Live music cannot flourish without live music venues. Dance music cannot survive without clubs. Lockouts are not the answer people. Music is the answer! Please #keepsydneyopen.
pretty much every interview I do people ask about the cluster of artists who have come out of the small tight knit music community in Sydney. before I moved to the USA I spend 6 yrs honing my skills in Sydney clubs alongside @flumemusic @ninalasvegas @rufusdusol @awonderdj @flightfac @haydenj_music & many more. the impact we have on global music now is a result of the creative spaces & resources we had to grow our skills back home. sadly 90% of these Sydney clubs have gone out of business thanks to new lock out laws. personally I can tell you that without that community I would not have learned the skills to be doing what I'm doing now. no way. the state has decided that the next generation of artists like us are not worth cultivating. what a fkn shame. #keepsydneyopen.
Club 77 played a vital role in the early years of The Presets. It was a space where we honed our skills as performers, a place where we discovered amazing music, met like-minded people in our community, forged lasting friendships and where _____ _____ tried to stick her tongue down my throat in the toilets after giving me a bump of k and I ran away because I was scared shitless of her boyfriend and I've thought about that moment at least once a week ever since #keepsydneyopen
It's sad to see the life and soul sucked out of our home town as the some of these venues are closing due to some very poorly thought out lawmaking. Clubs like this one are the cultural incubators that made it possible for ourselves and many other bands, DJs and producers to get a start in our careers. It's heartbreaking to see so many businesses close and we feel sorry for the next generation that they won't have the same opportunities we did coming up. STOP KILLING CULTURE!!! #keepsydneyopen