Is Sydney's Live Music Scene Really Back?

21 April 2023 | 4:25 pm | Set Mo

What fundamental changes need to be further made to strengthen Sydney's live music scene?

(Pic by Jordan Munns)

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It’s been a tough few years for the nightlife in Sydney. First, the lockouts led to a lot of the city’s nightclubs and live music venues sadly closing down. 

King's Cross, which was once a thriving hub of late night activity, is now a weird mixture of boujee apartments and fancy eateries coupled with a few derelict strip clubs and kebab shops with not much in between. Then Covid-19 came along, and obviously, there was very little in terms of going out for a couple of years there. 

Dancing was the first thing to go and the last thing to return. So, yeah, it’s been tough for this beautiful city we call home. 

All that being said though there is a fresh energy in Sydney and it feels good. Some new venues have opened, old ones have been brought back to life and there are new parties and scenes popping up across the city. 

Over the past few years, as more and more venues closed, everything started to feel very event based, you’d buy a ticket way in advance to go and see a particular artist. Now for the first time in forever it feels like people will go to a party or a venue for the vibe it provides and not necessarily to see a headline act playing. 

This is great for two reasons; it means that venues and crews are building culture around a scene and bringing people out to be a part of it which, in turn, leads people to see new acts they might have not come across otherwise and hear music they perhaps haven’t heard before. 

This is what pushes the culture forward. It reminds us of when we first started going out and then DJing in Kings Cross, depending on what you were into would dictate what club you went to. 

Sydney still has a lot of rebuilding to do and we don’t have a hub quite like what Kings Cross used to be, but we’re optimistic that things are heading in the right direction. The scene feels more spontaneous again which excites us. 

I think punters are more open to new things than before and aren’t as quick to pigeonhole themselves into a single zone, which is a huge positive. It’s this openness that leads to people trying new things and a greater chance of them succeeding. Let's push some boundaries and have a good time while we’re at it.

Set Mo's second album, Flux, is out today. You can stream it here.