In a development so painfully ‘Sydney’ it hurts, the Kings Cross Hotel has been forced to rip down its “Keep Sydney Open” banner after a residential mob of lockout law-supporters complained to the local council.
The iconic venue will today trash its offending sign, which was proudly emblazoned across its facade as part of Keep Sydney Open’s nightlife-boosting ‘Meet You In The Cross’ festival last week, under threat of a $6,000 fine.
It comes after the Potts Point watering hole erected the banner without seeking the correct approvals from City Of Sydney Council.
“We had good intentions in putting the banner up. It was about supporting a community initiative that we are passionate about, and in this case we were a little too passionate,” the venue says in a statement.
As Fairfax Media reports, the hotel was held to account by a group of enraged lockout law supporters dubbed the “2011 Residents Association” (styled after the area’s postcode) who were pissed about the “political nature” of the KSO banner.
“If we get vilified for being sticks in the mud or dobbers, so be it. We are there to represent the residents,” Association Secretary Peter Young proudly proclaims to Fairfax.
Meanwhile, a council spokesperson has confirmed that the banner is “being removed voluntarily and City staff will work with the hotel to ensure any future signage is submitted through the formal approval process”.
Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh reckons it’s an apt metaphor for the current state of Sydney and the ideological battle that’s been raging since 2014 over the city’s controversial lockout laws.
“There’s a residents’ committee that’s opposed to us. It shows the factors at play when it comes to gentrification and entertainment precincts in the inner city,” he says.
KSO have shared the news of #bannergate on Facebook alongside a cheeky message to supporters: “Take a selfie with it before it comes down!”
In happier news, Kings Cross Hotel spokesperson Lacaze has confirmed to Fairfax that last weekend’s Keep Sydney Open festival in the Cross drew “the biggest crowds to the venue since the lockout laws were introduced”, with 1,400 patrons entering the venue, including 1,200 new patrons.
“We had no incidents. It’s a good example of how events like these can be managed in a good way,” he says.
It’s definitely bright news for the Hotel, especially after their unhappy brush during VIVID Sydney a few weeks back, which saw a downstairs punk gig designed to reinvigorate the area’s nightlife ironically shut down before 9:30pm following a series of noise complaints, which began flowing into the venue from as early as 7:30pm.
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Gallery: The Best Signs From The Keep Sydney Open Rally (October 2016)
Kings Cross Hotel Forced To Remove 'Illegal' Keep Sydney Open Banner - Music Feeds