Sydney Council's Live Music Expert Claims Lockouts Not To Blame

23 December 2015 | 1:07 pm | Neil Griffiths

But the scene needs a boost.

Following last week's news that Sydney's live music scene is set to be revamped by local councils who will work with venues and musicians, live music expert Clayton Ries says that while the city's scene needs a boost, the contentious lockout laws are not to blame. 

Speaking to theMusic, Ries, who will head up the City of Sydney-led pilot program AMPLIFY, believes that because live gigs finish by midnight and don't impede the 1.30am lockouts, they are largely unaffected by the laws. 

"I don’t think lockouts really have anything to do with the live music scene and the way it is at the moment," Ries said.

Ries did concede however that late night trading is feeling the brunt of the laws which were introduced last year and have since seen the closure of a number of favourite Sydney venues including The Lansdowne Hotel, Hugo's Lounge, The Spice Cellar and more. 

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"They’re being affected by late night trade, so if for example you’re based in Sydney at Oxford Art Factory and things like that, to have a second wave of income, that’s definitely a factor," Ries said. 

"But in terms of the live music program itself I don’t see the issue…"

Ries will work with local businesses and help identify the benefits of live music and maximising return and a number of venues have already applied to be involved in the new program which will commence next month. 

"It’s just rejuvenating the idea of people going to live music and live music giving back to the people in some way as well," Ries said of the AMPLIFY program. 

"…Opening it up to different avenues and opening people up to the different spaces that…can and should be used."

Businesses interested in hosting live music are encouraged to contact Ries at to discuss how they can be involved in AMPLIFY.