Licensing Forces Venues Into NYE Shutdown

A freeze on existing licences by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) will see several inner city Melbourne live music venues without a 3am New Year’s Eve extension, forcing them to close or kick off celebrations early to meet Tuesday licensing restrictions.

As Fairfax reports, the freeze is a result of the controversial 2am lockout policy trialled in Melbourne’s inner city for three months in late 2008 to quell alcohol-fuelled violence on city streets which saw venues branded as ‘high risk,’ before being abandoned by the Brumby Government.

According to Fairfax, the beloved Tote Hotel in Collingwood and Fitzroy’s Yah Yah’s, which remain open till 3am and 5am respectively on Fridays and Saturdays, applied for a one-off 3am extension on their early week licenses for NYE, but were denied. Both venues will remain closed on the night.

“If New Year’s Eve falls between Sunday and Wednesday, is it somehow different from if it fell on a Friday or Saturday? No one is going to go to a function that ends just after 12 and winds down by 1am. It’s also not profitable,” Tote and Yah Yah’s co-owner Jon Perring told Fairfax.

“This policy will only result in more house parties and mass parties in public parks such as Edinburgh Gardens that have no crowd controllers or RSA-accredited staff to keep these events safe,” added Perring, whose venues have previously battled with draconian licensing restrictions.

(Via Sydney Morning Herald)

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