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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 Sydney.com and Visitnsw.com

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 161 applications were received requesting funding of $4,8798,732.

The 30 projects in the table below were successful. These projects received a total funding of $1 million and will be completed by December 2020.

ApplicantProject nameLocationPlanned date
The Serious Business Group Trust Yours and Owls All Ages Festival Sideshow Stuart Park, Wollongong 5 to 6 October 2019
Golden Age Cinema & Bar Pty Ltd Reflections Surry Hills 31 May to 18 December 2019
Bar Whispers Pty Ltd Rock the Block Redfern 1 August 2019 to 29 April 2020
Spunk Records Pty Ltd Hometowns - A return to where it all began Mid-North Coast to South Coast NSW 29 November to 15 December 2019
Soft Centre Pty Ltd Soft Centre 2019 Casula 14 September 2019
Miss Kate Stroud Dusty Attic Music Lounge 2019-20 Music Program Lismore 1st June 2019 to 31 December 2020
Mathew Spisbah & Rainbow Chan Club 4A | Rui Ho Haymarket 25 to 26 July 2019
Ms Katrina Dopper Heaps Gay Street Festival Sydney and Newcastle 18 January to 25 January 2020
Mrs Christine Wheeler Bulgamada: Big Sing Blue Mountains Blackheath 1 May 2019 to 25 October 2019
The Rubens Music Pty Ltd An outdoor event in Camden, NSW Camden 9 November 2019
One Day Entertainment Pty Ltd One Day Hip Hop Festival Marrickville\ 23 November 2019
Free Broadcast Incorporated Tracks - artist development and performance in Western Sydney Western Sydney 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2020
Griffith City Council Light My Fire – Murrumbidgee Youth Live and Original Music Initiative Griffith 5 May 2019 to 27 December 2020
Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services Inc Wingham Akoostik Music Festival Wingham NSW 18 to 20 October 2019
Mary's Group Australia Pty Ltd A year long weekly live music event at The Lansdowne Chippendale Sunday nights from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2019
White Cliffs Music Festival Inc Headliners and support performers for White Cliffs Music Festival 2020 White Cliffs 15 to 17 May 2020
First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation Blak Markets Bear Island 1 May 2019 to 20 December 2020
Live at the Village Inc Live at the Village Music Festival Springwood Springwood 12 December 2019
Mr Maxim Skilbeck-Porter The Union Hotel Showcase Series Newtown 27 June 2019 to 25th June 2020
Peter Wild (for Candelo Small Town Musician Collective) Small Town Collective Regional tour of NSW 1 October 2019 to 30 November 2020
Mr Richard Petkovic Community Grooves Winter Music Series - The Western Sydney Sound Sydney Olympic Park 1 May - 29 September 2019
South East Arts (NSW) Inc Giiyong 2020 Near Eden 1 June 2019 to 31 October 2020
Miss Alison Flett Sydney Mixtape Series at The Newsagency Camperdown 18 May 2019 to Autumn, 24 August 2019 to Winter, 26 October 2019 to Spring, 18 January 2020 to Summer
Campbelltown City Council Conscious concert - Campbelltown Arts Centre Campbelltown 23 Febuary 2020
City of Parramatta Council The Area Festival Parramatta 7 to 8 September 2019
Tathra Beachside Pty Ltd Tathra Beachside Sunday Sessions Tathra Every Sunday from 5 May 2019 to 29 December 2040
Tomaree Business Chamber Inc Tastes at the Bay Food Wine & Jazz Festival Nelson Bay 31 August 2019 to 1 September 2019
Trevor Brown (for Sydney Improvisers Composers Kollektiv Orchestra) Sydney Improvisers Composers Kollektiv Orchestra Wollongong, Newcastle and Katoomba 1 September 2019 to 1 September 2020
Women of the West Music Events Women of the West music concerts Bankstown 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
Commune Newtown Tradings Pty Ltd Live Music Program at 32 King Street Newtown 1 January to 20 December 2020

Visit Create NSW for more information. 

Activate [email protected] Grants program

The Office of Responsible Gambling has funded 14 one-off, unique ideas that encourage a vibrant night-time economy in key precincts across Greater Sydney.

The projects will offer exciting new opportunities for people to enjoy vibrant nightlife in key centres including Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Liverpool and Newtown.  

EventLocationPlanned date
Flying Nun by Brand X Darlinghurst July–December 2019
Mary's Underground Circular Quay July 2019–June 2020
ParraPickers: Second-time around celebration Parramatta July 2019–June 2020
Sugar Fest 2019 Pirrama Park, Pyrmont 24–25 August 2019
Sydney Fringe Festival
Newtown Precinct Project
Newtown 1–30 September 2019
Flow Festival Darlinghurst 12 October 2019
Liverpool Laneways Liverpool CBD September–October 2019
Sydney at Night Tours Newtown and Haymarket/George Street September–November 2019 
EMCPLAY Darlinghurst, Newtown, Redfern, Haymarket 13–17 November 2019 
Winda festival under the stars Barangaroo 21–24 November 2019
Musica Viva sessions Liverpool, Parramatta, Darlinghurst, Opera House to Walsh Bay and PYrmont 2019–2020  
Art at Night Parramatta 1–31 March 2020 
Sydney Guitar Festival Newtown/Marrickville August 2020 
King Street Carnival Newtown September 2020 

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.

Visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website for program details.

Liquor Accords Grants program

This funding program supported 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.

These one-off grants attracted a strong response from communities across NSW and support a range of creative concepts to boost community safety.

Liquor accords bring together licensed venues, councils, police and other government, industry and community groups to deliver practical local solutions for reducing alcohol-related harm.

The successful projects are:

  • Gunnedah and District Liquor Accord: $7.400 for late-night transport for licensed venues patrons in the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Hastings Liquor Accord: $15,000 for an awareness campaign targeted at good decision-making and road safety awareness, and better late-night transport options.
  • Inner West Drug Action team, Marrickville: $15,000 for Stay Safe Solutions, an early intervention program to target underage and binge drinking.
  • Kiama Liquor Accord: $3,500 for the accord, local council and police to develop and deliver a youth resilience program covering issues such as bullying, alcohol and good decision-making.
  • Lake Macquarie Liquor Accord: $15,000to provide a courtesy bus to help patrons of licensed venues get home safely late at night.  
  • Maitland Liquor Accord: $8,775 to design and implement a peer safety program titled ‘Safe Nights Out - Stop a good night turning feral’.
  • Northern Beaches Liquor Accord: $12,950 to develop a program titled ‘Dark Matter – a late night guide for Northern Beaches school leavers’.    
  • Queanbeyan Liquor Accord: $7,000 to deliver ‘Not a minor problem – Under Age Drinking Sporting Club Talks’ – a series of education programs targeting young people.
  • Tweed Heads/Tweed Coast Liquor Accord: $15,000 for the accord to work with high school students on issues associated with serving and supplying alcohol in the hospitality and retail industries.
  • Wollondilly Liquor Accord: $2,800 for a community awareness campaign on domestic violence delivered through 21 local licensed venues and 12 bottle shops.

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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