Live entertainment venues gain lock out and last drink extensions

Eligible licensees can apply for a 30-minute extension to liquor laws

​Publication date: Friday, 27 January 2017

As part of the NSW Government's commitment to creating a more vibrant nightlife for Sydney while keeping the community safe, three live entertainment venues have been granted exemptions to the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross 'lockout' and 'last drinks' laws.

Further extensions are expected soon, with another 14 applications currently being assessed. Industry feedback suggests up to 50 venues could take advantage of the relaxed lockout and last drinks times.

Subject to certain eligibility criteria, licensees of live entertainment venues may apply to Liquor & Gaming NSW for a 30-minute extension to the 1.30am lockout and 3.00am last drinks conditions.

'Live entertainment' includes events where people are engaged to perform live or pre-recorded music, and other performances where performers are present in person, such as theatre, musicals, dance, comedy and variety performances.

Deputy Secretary for Liquor, Gaming and Emergency Management at the NSW Department of Justice, Paul Newson, said CBD venues the Palace Hotel, Observer Hotel and ArtHouse Hotel can now admit patrons until 2.00am and serve drinks until 3.30am.

"Live entertainment venues help provide a more diverse nightlife with less focus on alcohol consumption. Arts NSW is leading plans to boost Sydney's night-time economy by implementing recommendations from a series of stakeholder roundtables held last year," Mr Newson said.

Applications for extensions have been allowed since December 2016. A two-year trial of the half-hour extensions for approved venues is part of the NSW Government's response to the independent statutory review of liquor laws that was conducted by Ian Callinan AC QC.

For more information about the exemptions and application process, see the fact sheet Half-hour live entertainment exemption to 1.30am lock out and 3.00am last drinks [PDF, 207kb].

Other measures arising in response to the Callinan review include an extension of trading times for takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales across NSW from 10.00pm to 11.00pm beginning from 16 December 2016, raising the patron limit for small bars from 60 to 100, and extending automatic 2.00am trading for eligible small bars in the CBD and Kings Cross.