Sydney’s nightlife is on the decline for one important reason
Sydneysiders’ views on the vibrancy, accessibility and expense of the city’s nightlife have weakened over the past year, despite government efforts to undo the damage caused by lockout laws and the pandemic.
A new study commissioned by the government’s 24-hour business bureau found the cost to people is the top concern. 50 per cent of respondents disagreed that Sydney’s nightlife was affordable – up from 42 per cent last year. Only 22 percent said it was affordable, versus 31 percent.
High cost was also the biggest barrier to going out, with 41 percent saying nightlife costs played a “big role” in their decision-making.
Arts, Music and Nightlife Minister John Graham said the rising cost of living had meant more Sydneysiders than ever before were sensitive to the price of a beer, meal or gig. “It’s just too expensive to go out at night in Sydney and that means some people just don’t get a chance,” he said.
Other indicators also declined; 53 per cent of respondents agreed that Sydney’s nightlife is vibrant, compared to 58 per cent last year. The proportion of people who said Sydney’s nightlife was “easy to get to” also decreased.
When asked what was missing in the night economy, men were significantly more likely to want more pubs and e-sports facilities, women more venues for live music and 18 to 24-year-olds more clubs.
The survey of 1,000 Sydney residents was conducted by Ipsos in February and March while the city hosted the global LGBTQ festival WorldPride. Graham said the data showed he and his colleagues still had work to do to change perceptions of Sydney nightlife.
“Government support for vibrancy and city revitalization has changed. That changed under the previous administration, but nothing has changed at street level,” said Graham.
“We must ensure that the words become reality. We need to actually make it livelier after dark. There are some good things happening right now, but there is still a long way to go. You can’t read these poll results and not think that.”