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Keep Sydney Open's Tyson Koh Says a Public Rally Will Shine A Brighter Light on Lock Out Laws

Royal Headache and Art vs. Science to perform at Sydney lockout laws protest this weekend.
February 15, 2016, 2:30am

Image: Tolmie MacCrae

There’s no doubt that a lot of people in Sydney are pissed off with the current lock out laws and the negative affect that they are having on their city

In an effort to direct some of this anger and frustration, Keep Sydney Open have announced a public rally this Sunday to speak out against the laws. Royal Headache and Art Vs Science — who recently released anti-lock out song "You Got To Stop" – will perform at the rally that kicks off at Belmore Park at 12:30pm.

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We reached out to Keep Sydney Open organiser Tyson Koh to ask what he hoped the event will achieve. “The aim is to shine an even brighter light on the issue of lockouts and the way it’s hurting our city. We have a list of points that we urge the Government to consider. One of those things is demanding a dialogue with Government to find solutions that benefit both the cities creative communities and small business while ensuring safety of patrons.”

Koh says that the Sydney event hopes to mirror a similar rally organised by live music advocacy group SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) in 2010 in response to Melbourne lockout laws.

“Unfortunately, our State Government favours this as an all or nothing scenario. Melbourne is an example about how great an international city can be. So many people in Sydney are feeling the pinch as a result of these lockouts that something will have to change eventually. The question is, how much damage is going to be done before it does, and which politicians are going to be responsible for enacting that change?"

Since the laws were introduced, over 20 venues have closed in Sydney resulting in an estimated 600 jobs lost and fewer opportunities for live bands and DJ’s to perform in the city.

The rally will end at Bar Century, that has recently announced its closure, where a mock funeral for all the small business, venues and jobs lost to the lockouts will be held.

Isabella Manfriedi from indie-rock band The Preatures and Dave Faulkner from Hoodoo Gurus will speak at the event alongside Koh, and Political Editor of Crikey Bernard Keane.