New licensing laws have come into early effect in Sydney, Australia and both club owners and performers are alleging that the new regulations will hurt their business more than it will hurt alcohol-related lawlessness.
"Our business model has been completely compromised," said Murat Kilic, a club owner in the city. "Despite having never had an alcohol-related violent incident at our venue and catering for peaceful music-focused clientele, we have been hit the hardest by these changes. We been forced to lay off staff immediately and axe some of our nights to save costs literally just to stay solvent."
The legislation was announced during January largely as the result of an incident where two young men were assaulted and killed during a late night incident. The attacker was found to be intoxicated during the incident. Widespread media coverage of the incident inspired the new legislation, which will require many venues to lock their doors at 1:30 A.M. and to stop serving alcohol at 3 A.M. Small bars-defined as unable to hold more than 60 patrons-are not subject to the new laws.
This ties back to music because late-night clubs that would normally hire small-name EDM DJ's and rock bands are being forced to cut back on spending due to the loss of income generated by the law. The law also has the potential to affect big-name EDM concerts as well, as those shows tend to run later than rock concerts. All in all, the legislation affects more than 1,000 establishments in Sydney's entertainment precinct.
Organizations such as Save Our Nightlife and Keep Sydney Open have come forth opposing the laws, pointing to studies that indicate alcohol-based violence is actually on the way down.