Mike Baird‘s NSW Government have all but confirmed the death of Sydney’s nightlife, with a dystopian video posted to the Transport for NSW facebook page two weeks ago. The video shows local singer-dancer Jayden Rodrigues and two friends hitting up Haymarket to “check out the city’s coolest spots”.
As I sat down to watch this video for the first time I thought, “Oh great, here we go, another cheesy video full of young clubgoers, hitting the dance floor with drinks in hand.” Obviously the Baird government is trying to convey how hip and cool Sydney still is. Though, Mr Rodrigues does let us know that “The city is buzzing this summer with so many ways to spin your night.”
How wrong I was. Let the cringe begin!
What Am I, 12 years old? Movies, video games and food. Hey Mike, I can do that without leaving my bed – sorry. At this point you have actually convinced me to stay in at home, well done.
The video has been described by Tyson Koh from Keep Sydney Open as being “really out of step“. Koh went on to explain that the video shifted blame for the dull nightlife away from the troublesome, but “real issues” of the lockout laws, and towards the huge amount of construction that is around the streets for the light rail system. There has also been a huge backlash across social media towards the #liveituplocally campaign.
The #liveituplocally campaign is great if you're a 16-years-old and a Mormon. Only thing it's missing is pass the parcel.
— Kevin Nguyen (@cog_ink) December 20, 2016
#liveituplocally makes sydney look like either a retirement village or a kids play centre. never been more embarrassed for sydney
— Jaden (@Gayden_r) December 19, 2016
— Papa Gede (@austana) December 19, 2016
“What’s most troubling from our end is that instead of supporting some of the smaller venues and the live music scene, and the venues that are within that precinct, such as the Hudson Ballroom or the Metro, the video has gone about promoting Events Cinemas and a Broadway musical,” said Tyson Koh.
Koh makes an obvious yet important point: the video promotes generic entertainment that can be found in any international city.
“None of it actually promotes any homegrown culture. What’s been central to our campaign is the desire for people to go out and dance, and listen to music – it’s got nothing to do with alcohol,” Toh added.
Going to the movies and performing karaoke at a sushi restaurant are social activities I don’t even have to leave my suburb to do. Why does the government assume this will sway people to jump back out onto the streets of Sydney?
There are some great bars, clubs and live music venues throughout Sydney which showcase the true essence and culture of Sydney. The focus should be on supporting and re-energising those areas, rather than wasting time and money on poor campaigns like this.