In between disparaging comments about licensing developments in Melbourne, Marcus Westbury has a few good things to say about the direction that NSW/Sydney is heading:
NSW has pushed through major reforms of its licensing laws and the rules governing live performance that make it relatively easy to present live music and performance across the state. Sydney’s live music and entertainment scene is open to new players, and with any luck, in the near future, small-scale venues will emerge again.
It’s true that a number of small bars, and even a sprinkling of new independent music venues, have popped up. Interestingly, at the same time some oldies but goodies have struggled, blaming Council and state laws (I’m thinking about the Hopetoun in Surry Hills, and bleating from the Annandale).
I am also hesitant about the impact of the new Small Bars licencing, given that most of Sydney’s new wine bars are operating with a restaurant licence due to the registration period under the new scheme reportedly taking up to a year. The small bar licence does seem that it would assist venues interested in hosting small music and arts nights though, but we haven’t seen much of that yet.
What’s the pick of the new bars? Is anyone hosting music or otherwise arts focused? Are there any new Sydney venues that deserve a shout out?