Live music venues in Newtown in Sydney’s Inner West could soon look forward to longer trading hours, a reduction in red tape and legal music and arts events in shop fronts.
On Tuesday 24 October, the Council voted to investigate the legalisation of live music and performances in non-traditional spaces, such as shop fronts, restaurants and cafes.
“King Street is the ideal environment to allow cafes, restaurants and retail shops to host grass roots music and theatre to small audiences,” said Mayor Darcy Byrne. “This would provide a shot in the arm to the local arts scene and exponentially increase the number of venues for emerging artists.”
In addition, the Council intends to bring more legal harmony to King Street, which is governed by the Inner West Council on one side and by the City of Sydney on the other, in an arrangement that creates inconsistent regulations. For example, the Inner West allows operators to provide footpath dining without paying Council fees, while the City of Sydney charges. Meanwhile, businesses on the City of Sydney side are able to access a range of grants, unavailable to those in the Inner West.
“I want to ensure that common sense prevails over red tape and bureaucracy and create one level playing field for all businesses to unite King Street,” said Cr Byrne. “That is why we have decided to support the City of Sydney investigation of late night trading, but we want to go much further than that.
“We want to fix a whole range of other irregularities that are frustrating and confusing local businesses who struggle to understand what they can and can’t do on either side of the street.”
The Council, in collaboration with the Newtown Precinct Business Association, will form an independent working group to establish a single set of regulations for King Street.