On October 9th 2016 Sydneysiders of varying ages hit the streets to protest the incessant lockout laws. Proving once again that the policy is widely denounced by a substantial and vocal portion of the community.
The protest began in Belmore Park and as the day progressed the punters made their way up Oxford Street to Taylor Square where there were speeches and live performances aplenty. The sea of protestors in Taylor Square wanted their voices to be heard as well as their placards seen, some interesting interpretations of the NSW Premier Mike Baird were evident.
The Keep Sydney Open organiser Tyson Koh spoke to the revved up crowd, detailing the effects the lockouts have had on the local economy as well as the once late night bustling city. Koh said, “there is so much talent, and that’s what breaks my heart…
Music, it happens in the bedrooms, but it also happens in venues as well. And when you kill off the vibrancy that means that a venue of 50 or 60 people has to close, it means that the people who are just starting out their careers have no place to play or perform in front of a crowd.
Because these spaces are vital. It is where we fall in love, it is where we listen to undiscovered talent. These places are incubators, and at every single level up the chain, whether that’s a 100-person venue, a 200, 400-person venue… or an arena, this does not happen when you kill off the grassroots level of our city or our society.”
Koh also called out the Premier and wants him to recognise the detrimental effects the lockout laws are having on businesses.
With a bit of hope and a lot more momentum these rallies could see a change in the near future.