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Promoting the night-time economy

Published 24th January, 2019

Supporting music and entertainment venues and creating awareness of events and activities available at night.

Opera Bar Sydney

NSW night-time economy event directory

Although there are existing calendars available to the public, they are often targeted toward discrete demographic or social groups. The Night Events Directory seeks to raise awareness of the diverse range of events, live music venues and activities available at night.

How do I get my night-time event or live music venue listed?

Visit Destination NSW

How do I find out more about events and live music venues?

You can find out more on and

Funding programs

Create NSW and the Office of Responsible Gambling are committing more than $1.5 million to support the night-time economy.

Music Now: Contemporary Live Music Funding Program

The $1 million Music Now Contemporary Live Music Funding program invests in activities, events or performances that support NSW musicians to present new work and increase participation in live music events across the state.

Funding of up to $40,000 was available for a one-off, series or an annual program of live music events held in NSW.

Examples of funding opportunities could include, but are not limited to:

  • a series of public presentation opportunities for independent musicians
  • a series of outdoor live music events or a festival
  • a program of club nights for emerging hip hop/experimental/electronic musicians.

Applications closed on 14 March 2019 and are currently being assessed. 160 applications were received requesting funding of $4,8798,732.

Visit Create NSW for program details. 

Activate [email protected] Grants program

The Office of Responsible Gambling offered a total of $500,000 for one-off, unique ideas that encouraged a vibrant night-time economy in key precincts across Greater Sydney including:

  • Darlinghurst
  • Haymarket and George Street
  • Parramatta
  • Liverpool
  • Newtown
  • Opera House to Walsh Bay
  • Pyrmont.

Grants of up to $100,000 per application were available for projects that will help activate a vibrant, diverse and dynamic night-time economy for the benefit of the local community and visitors.

Applications closed on 28 February 2019 and are currently being assessed. 55 applications were received requesting funding of $4,200,000.

Visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website for program details.

Liquor Accords Grants program

This funding program supports local Liquor Accords run and promotes innovative and established initiatives to boost public safety and minimise alcohol-related harm.

Grants of up to $15,000 per application were available to support local initiatives that will bring positive improvements to public safety and amenity in and around licensed premises, and in other public and private spaces.

Grants were available for:

  • education and awareness programs, especially those targeted at school students and school leavers
  • signage, posters or brochures to improve patron safety
  • programs and initiatives that encourage positive patron behaviour
  • road safety awareness and initiatives
  • late-night transport options
  • measures to improve community or public safety, for example, extra lighting around town centres and licensed premises.

Applications closed Thursday 14 March 2019.

Visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website for program details.

Financial support for cultural initiatives

Support for arts and culture initiatives across NSW is available through the ClubGrants Category 3 Fund. Over the current term, the NSW Government has allocated $12.5 million to support arts and culture infrastructure through the fund.

How do I apply?

Visit the Office of Responsible Gambling’s website to find out how to apply.

Supporting live music and entertainment venues in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts

In January 2017, the NSW Government commenced a two-year trial of later 2am lockout and 3:30am last drinks times for live entertainment venues in the precincts. As of December 2018, 34 venues had been granted extensions

In May 2018, the NSW Government removed the freeze on liquor licences in the precincts for public entertainment venues focused on live music, arts and culture (while extending it for 12 months for other higher risk premises in the precincts).

As of March 2019, 37 venues have been granted extensions.

Supporting small bars to open and operate

In December 2016, significant changes were implemented to support small bars including:

  • maximum patron capacity increased from 60 to 100 persons
  • automatic extended trading from midnight to 2am for bars in the CBD and Kings Cross precincts (as per the rest of NSW)
  • relaxation on the type of drinks that small bars can serve after midnight.

NSW small bar numbers have more than doubled in the two years since the changes – up to 128 venues by March 2019.

A no-cost option has been opened until 31 August 2019 to allow on-premises and hotel general bars to convert to a small bar licence, which carries lower licence costs and less restrictive conditions.

Published 24th January, 2019
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