RIP World Bar: Sydney’s Lockout Laws Claim Yet Another Iconic Venue


Yep. As you’ve just read in the headline, Sydney’s cancerous lockout laws have just claimed the soul of another iconic venue: this time, World Bar.

The beloved Kings Cross establishment, which for the past 18 years has entertained us with performances from the likes of Flume, Alison Wonderland, Nina Las Vegas, DZ Deathrays, Gang of Youths, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and countless others — will call last drinks tomorrow night, Wednesday 28th November.

To nobody’s surprise, the lockout laws are to blame, with Steve Ward using his final words as venue owner to deliver a message of hope in the face of Sydney’s burgeoning live music venue graveyard.

“This is obviously heartbreaking stuff, after being part of the Sydney music scene for more than 18 years it’s tough to close the doors on a venue that really is like a big family. We’re very proud of the role we’ve played in fostering young music talent and creating a safe space for all,” Ward says.

“It’s undeniable that [the lockout laws] have had a huge impact on us, as well as Sydney’s live music scene,” he continues. “However, we believe there is a solution here, we have hope. We need the authorities to show true leadership and to make positive decisions for the music and creative communities and for everyone who likes to be social at night!

“Public opinion and pressure are mounting and now we need our elected officials to be brave and make positive changes to the legislation. Safety and entertainment ARE achievable, we have seen this put into practice in global cities around the world.”

It comes as the City Of Sydney tables a ballsy new plan for 24-hour trade, which would take a hypothetical wrecking ball to much of the red tape that has been strangling late-night trade in the CBD (but not the lockout laws, which are the state liberal government’s doing).

But nevertheless the measures — if instituted — still arrive too late to save World Bar, not to mention fellow lockout law victims Newtown Social ClubThe NewsagencyMr. Falcons, Spectrum, Q Bar, Club 77, Piano Room, Soho and countless others.

Ward concludes: “Our parting words to anyone who loves Sydney’s nightlife are these – the best way to rebel is to go out. There are great venues and incredible music alive in the Cross and surrounding areas, so please get out there and support all our incredible friends – promoters, venue owners, artists- still battling away for their love of live music”.

The team at World Bar have also taken the time to thank “our 2500 staff, 4500 DJs, 1000 bands and thousands upon thousands of punters who have walked through our doors over the last two decades” in their final words before the reaper comes to drag their venue into the spirit realm.

“We hope we’ve been able to put smiles on people’s faces and create a few hazy memories.”

Pour out a teapot of long island icies, fam.

Meanwhile, if you want to farewell the old girl, you can head along to World Bar’s final ever party tomorrow night (official Facebook event here) or to keep up to date with the latest live music venue obituaries, check out our Sydney Lockout Laws Feed or our dedicated FFS Sydney Feed.

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