Sydney’s nightlife ruined by aggressive bouncers and intimidating police, the report said

“I’ll never forget being pulled off the dance floor at one of my local bars for dancing too expressively,” she said. “I was totally sober and eventually got booted from the venue.”

Singh said he found the majority of security guards to be rude and intimidating and he didn’t feel comfortable asking them or the police for help.

Arron Singh, Samuel Austin and Adrien Moffatt are members of the Night Time Industries Association Youth Advisory Council.

Arron Singh, Samuel Austin and Adrien Moffatt are members of the Night Time Industries Association Youth Advisory Council.Recognition:James Brickwood

Moffatt also said Sydney’s nightlife lacks variety: “If I don’t feel like dancing with my friends, there’s not much else to do in the city after 10pm, so I usually go home.”

Austin, who grew up in Cherrybrook and moved to Enmore six months ago, said west Sydney residents would have to choose between a $150 Uber or waiting an hour for the next bus.

“Coupled with the fact that the bar has to close at midnight, you’re often left stranded in a dark, unfamiliar and unactivated part of the city,” he said.

Moffatt also said it’s “incredibly difficult” to find nightspots that will take non-drinkers: “Just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean I’m not interested in being in town.”


NTIA chief Michael Gibb said the association, whose membership includes arts organisations, alcohol companies and pub owners, wants to give young people a role in shaping Sydney’s nightlife.

“The industry is listening to young people and moving forward by introducing more live music, artistic spaces and a performance-oriented nightlife,” he said.

Gibb said alcohol plays a smaller role in young people’s nighttime experiences than it did in previous generations.

“Safety is a much bigger concern for younger generations who are very conscious of their own safety inside and outside of venues,” he said.

Carter nightclub in Sydney’s CBD was closed for 48 hours in November 2021 after a series of violent incidents, including a security officer pushing a customer into the road, onto the ground and then into a stone wall, hitting his head . The security guard was charged with assault with actual assault.

Gibb said security has “changed a lot from the days of the big, intimidating bouncer”.

“There is still work to be done on this front, but it’s encouraging to see both security forces and venues starting to adjust their approach,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Gibb said Sydney’s nightlife has bounced back after years of lockouts and lockdowns: “More and more is happening every night to show that Sydney’s nightlife is alive and thriving.”


The NSW Government’s 24-hour business commissioner, Michael Rodrigues, said the pandemic had led to a “decentralization of going out”.

“While people are returning to our CBDs for entertainment, we’re also seeing some consumer preference to stay local,” he said.

Labor night business and music spokesman John Graham said the “night time agenda” must include safe public transport and a fair wage for night shift workers.

“Sydney can be such a laid-back city on a good summer’s day, but it’s a contrast to Sydney after dark,” he said. “Venue over-regulation and uptight security staff can ruin a good night out.”


A spokesman for Transport for NSW said changes to late-night public transport were being considered “as the city continues to develop and travel patterns change”. CCTV at taxi ranks will also be tested to improve security, he said.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said police recognize the importance of a safe and vibrant night economy and will continue to work closely with government, local government and businesses to keep the community safe.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here. Sydney’s nightlife ruined by aggressive bouncers and intimidating police, the report said

Joel McCord

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