All Sydneysiders would be familiar with the lock-out laws brought in by the NSW Government in 2013 as a result of ‘alcohol related violence’. What most people wouldn't know is the media led hysteria campaign and subsequent ridiculous band-aid laws that were established by the then state government to 'curb' alcohol related violence in major entertainment precincts such as Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD.
Fast forward almost three years down the track and many people in Sydney have had enough. Once thriving entertainment and night-time precincts are now nothing more than ghost towns. Many great pubs, bars, nightclubs and surrounding shops and small businesses have fatally suffered and in turn closed due to decimating drops in footfall and visitation. The thriving music scene that once occupied Sydney has slowly started to die off due to music venue closures and the extreme restrictions placed on surviving establishments which has made it difficult for young, fresh bands to cut their teeth and make a name for themselves. On top of that, money hungry and human degrading places like Star City casino have profited from the demise of these former great night time areas while also amazingly being exempt from lock out laws that have destroyed many businesses.
So on Sunday February 21, Keep Sydney Open brought together 15,000 people in solidarity to rally, march and let their voices be heard by the NSW state government. The rally began in Belmore Park and the marched continue up Castlereagh and Elizabeth streets with everyone congregating in Hyde Park for some passionate and informative speeches from various representatives plus live performances by well known Sydney bands.
These are just a small collection of photographs I took on the day which really demonstrates the pride and passion that many Sydney folk have in their city and maintaining a first-class nightlife.