Yesterday the Queensland Government reached a deal to pass the strictest lockout laws in the country, and the backlash from the music community has been swift.
Musicians, venue owners and even the head of Australia’s biggest music industry conference BIGSOUND have all voiced their opposition to the restrictive laws, fearing a “Kings Cross-style wipe-out” in Brisbane’s musical nerve centre of Fortitude Valley.
Cranking the dissent to 11, FOMO festival co-director Steven Papas has now added his voice to the outraged fray.
Fresh from celebrating the roaring success of the dance festival’s debut event last month at Brisbane’s Riverstage, Papas has slammed the Queensland government for turning a blind eye to the evidence and basically shitting all over Brisbane’s future prospects with a brash, backwards solution to alcohol-fuelled violence.
“Well there you have it,” Papas wrote via the official FOMO Facebook page. “A government that doesn’t look at real statistics, a government that says they care about saving lives when they actually don’t. A government that will punish everyone for an individual’s mistakes.”
“And for all those individuals that chose to be violent then I hope you are proud that not only have you wrecked your friends nights out but you completely destroyed our city,” he continued.
Sunshine Supernanny State’s new alcohol trading restrictions, which will be phased in over the next year, include a 1am lockout and 2am last drinks for venues statewide, with the exception of a few special precincts which will be allowed to serve drinks til 3am (chalk that one up in the win column, I guess?)
But despite expressing the utmost disdain for those responsible for bringing about even tougher laws than the ones that have gutted 16 once thriving venues from the cultural heart of Sydney, not to mention hundreds of jobs and up to 80 per cent of night time foot traffic, Papas’s main message was one of hope.
“For those that love to party, to dance, to be social and not act like a complete idiot I promise I will keep throwing the biggest parties, the biggest events and best festivals,” he promised. “However I swear at all times I will supply the safest possible environment as I have done this from day one. Lock out and some ludicrous time restriction won’t effect my passion or how I run a business.”
Papas also teased a forthcoming announcement about a new Queensland event space that will trade from 12pm – 12am, coming soon.
Read his full statement below.
Meantime, in Sydney, thousands of punters are gearing up to participate in a mass demonstration against the city’s own lockout laws, which are finally up for review.