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.