The Preature‘s Isabella Manfredi was one of the key voices who spoke at the Keep Sydney Open rally last week which attracted 15,000 people and she’s now published the full speech online so everyone can have a glance.
Manfredi took to the stage to share her thoughts on the Sydney nightlife laws which enforce a 1.30am lockout and a 3am finish to drinks service on venues inside the lockout zone.
In the speech, published on The Music, Manfredi describes the early days of watching some of her favourite bands like The Scare, Mercy Arms and The Nevada Strange in Sydney venues, many of which encouraged her to start a band.
A few years later The Preatures emerged and has had not only local but international success.
“We cut our teeth at venues like Flinders Bar, Q Bar, Spectrum, Oxford Art Factory, Low 302, Club 77, Candy’s Apartment, World Bar, Dean’s at the Cross, and many others,” she said.
“Almost all of these venues are now gone.”
“This was and is my scene. It shaped my identity, it catered to me, my tastes – it told me that I belonged and that I was part of something,” she continued.
Her biggest problem with the laws is that the government made no attempt to consult with the community before implementing them. She also critiqued their use of the word ‘antisocial’.
“You know what I call antisocial? Shutting down neighbourhoods. Shutting down communities,” she said.
She also addressed the violence that kickstarted the laws recalling watching one of her favourite bands Bad//Dreems and thinking about, “that unexpressed rage, or inexpressible feeling turned into male violence, male aggression.”
While they were on stage they were “like fighters getting ready for war,” giving a thrashing, raucous performance but then when they stepped off they were gentle.
“It made me realise that they’re like that off the stage because they can get up and say what’s in their heart,” she said.
Manfredi departed the stage with some positive words about coming together as a community to tackle the problem we have with violence saying, “no community is immune to ugliness”.
“But it should be treated as something we tackle as a community. Where we consult, we debate, where we stand up and say: this what we want and this is what we don’t want.”
Earlier in the week, Sydney producer and DJ Nina Las Vegas shared her speech that was delivered at the rally, which echoed similar sentiments as Manfredi’s.
“The lockout laws have taken away our ability to have choice and encourage creativity,” she wrote as someone who also kickstarted her career in Sydney. This year Nina Las Vegas will play iconic US festival Coachella, something The Preatures have also achieved. And it all started in a pre-lockout Sydney.
Read Manfredi’s speech here and NLV’s below.
Don’t forget you can also have your say on the lockout laws which are currently under review by emailing the NSW government directly.
Gallery: Keep Sydney Open Rally, Sydney 21/02/16 / Photos: by Ashley Mar
Read Isabella Manfredi's Full Speech From Sydney's Anit-Lockouts Rally - Music Feeds