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Everything You Need To Know About The Fight For Culture In Sydney

By Sammy Preston - 22 Feb 2019

Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List
Don't Kill Live Music Rally Sydney | Urban List

Sydney’s creative collective showed up in the tens of thousands on a rainy Thursday night in late February to voice their support of a future Sydney packed with live music and culture. 

On the stage in Hyde Park were long-time Sydney music champions like Yumi Stynes, Julian Hamilton of The Presets, City of Sydney Councillor Jess Scully and Murray Cook of The Wiggles. Triple J Hottest 100 heroes Ocean Alley and The Reubens performed, and Dan Sultan and The Polish Club opened the rally with, fittingly, a totally cracking cover of Kenny Loggins’ Footloose.


Baden Donegal of Ocean Alley performs at the Don't Kill Live Music rally in Hyde Park. 

As for what the fight and fuss is all about, It's all a part of a much longer battle for culture in Sydney, following on from heavy-handed lock-out laws introduced back in February 2014.

Five years later, this refreshed round of protest centres on a sling of new guidelines (set to kick-off March 1 of this year), which were created quickly and without consulting the music community to respond to drug-related deaths at music events in NSW. The new regulations have stirred the pot for event organisers, festival-goers and the general public off the back of the recent cancellation of Mountain Sounds and talk of Byron Bay's Bluesfest moving interstate as a direct result of these changes.

“We aren’t ready to lose the city we love,” says Sydney-based music photographer James Adams, who attended the rally for Urban List last night to capture a community he’s ready to fight for.

“The community showed up. Tens of thousands of passionate music lovers comprised of office workers, parents, kids, tradesmen, fans, roadies, sound guys and girls and some huge names in Australian music stood shoulder to shoulder, in the dripping rain, compelled by a stage of revolving talent featuring a who’s who of Australian music speaking and performing with purpose and vigour.” 


The Reubens play at the Don't Kill Live Music Rally.  

"We need to delay the implementation of the new License to allow time for consultation with industry professionals," Adams continues. "If we can achieve that, we can surely find a solution that pleases everyone. Festivals to remain profitable to themselves, the artists and the local and state economy, transparency for festival organisers and importantly—a safe environment for the public." 

Following the Hyde Park rally and pressure from the music industry and its community of creatives, the NSW government announced that just 14 festivals would be impacted by the new licensing scheme. To date, the festivals considered to be "high risk" include:

  • Ultra Australia
  • Laneway Festival
  • Defqon.1
  • Days Like This
  • Transmission
  • Fomo
  • Up Down
  • Electric Gardens
  • Hardcore Till I Die
  • Subsonic
  • This That
  • Knockout Games of Destiny
  • Lost Paradise
  • Rolling Loud

Get behind culture in Sydney with us, and sign the Don't Kill Live Music petition here

Image credit: James Adams

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