Lockouts eased to boost Sydney arts scene

Julia Carlisle

AAP: Sydney's lockout laws will be eased for new live music hotspots in an effort to boost the city's struggling nightlife.

The state government says it will lift the freeze on new liquor licences in Kings Cross and the CBD for venues with a focus on live music, arts and culture.

However, the freeze on new liquor licences for venues considered "high risk" such as hotels, clubs, bars and nightclubs will be extended for a further 12 months.

"New businesses offering live music as well as broader arts and cultural events will be able to apply to open in Kings Cross and the CBD," NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole said in a statement on Friday.

He said the government was committed to developing Sydney's night-time economy and helping the industry provide more diverse entertainment options.

There are now 30 clubs and pubs in the CBD and Kings Cross allowed to admit guests until 2am, and serve drinks until 3.30am.

Under the city's lockout and last drinks conditions, venues are required to stop admitting new patrons at 1.30am and stop serving alcohol at 3am, with venues offering live entertainment able to apply for extensions to these conditions.

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