It’s official: after years of protests, the near-death of inner-Sydney’s nightlife scene and many nights out ending at 1.30am due to final entry restrictions, the lockout laws have today finally been dropped (apart from Kings Cross. Sorry Kings Cross).
To mark the occasion, and take advantage of the relaxed restrictions, the city’s bars and nightclubs are throwing celebratory parties tonight and well into the weekend. No more early nights, Sydney – it’s time to forgo the pillow once more for sausage sizzles, live music and shots, shots, shots.
The Imperial Hotel is saying see ya later to lockouts on Tuesday, January 14
Popular LGBTQI+ pub the Imperial is putting on a free party, with DJ Lauren Neko on the decks. The affair begins at 10pm, continuing until 3am.
Stonewall brings the party back to Oxford Street on Tuesday, January 14
Kicking off proceedings in flamboyant style, Stonewall is hosting Gender Bender Bingo, karaoke (with cash prizes) and dinner served by Meals on Heels. Party until the wee hours at the upstairs cocktail bar where DJ Ray Isaac and drag host Coco Jumbo will keep the masses entertained.
The Orient Hotel reignites the night on Tuesday, January 14
Rocks stalwart The Orient Hotel is going full 1999: it’s letting punters enter and re-enter after 1.30am, pouring drinks into actual glassware and serving cocktails and shots after midnight. Wild.
Frankie’s Pizza celebrates emancipation on Tuesday, January 14
Frankie’s Pizza probably served more pre-, post- and mid-drinking session pizza slices than most other Sydney venues before the lockouts. Now, the raucous basement bar and pizza parlour is bringing back those days of yore with an Emancipation Party. Sydney bands Bare Bones and Arteries will take to the stage, and there’s hard-rock karaoke to keep the party going until the morning.
Bitter Phew says “smell ya later” to the lockout laws on Tuesday, January 14
In typically Aussie style, Oxford Street beer bar Bitter Phew is marking the end of the lockout laws with a late-night sausage sizzle from 10pm. The party kicks off at 3pm, when beer will start flowing from rare kegs pulled up from the cellar. When to arrive? “Whenever you want”, according to the bar.
Hollywood Hotel marks the end of an era on Tuesday, January 14
Classic Surry Hills boozer the Hollywood Hotel is ringing in a new post-lockout era with a free show from cabaret and burlesque performer Christa Hughes. Plus, she’s bringing along some of her mates to help her out. Book your place here.
The Cliff Dive and a bunch of all-star DJs celebrate the end of lockouts on Friday, January 17
Tiki bar The Cliff Dive is celebrating the lifted laws with a bang. It’s bringing a slew of top-notch DJs into the fold – DJ Levins, DJ Klasik and Shantan Wantan Ichiban – and doing $5 drinks before 10pm. Entry is free.
The Flinders Hotel bids farewell to the lockouts on Friday, January 17 and Saturday 18
Back in 2015 The Flinders Hotel closed, citing the lockout laws as the main reason. It reopened in December 2016 under new management – so it doesn’t surprise us that this classic Darlo pub is stoked that the laws have been dropped. On Friday it’s throwing a “house party” with 11 acts to dance to until 4am. Come Saturday, from 9pm to 4am, it’s throwing a ’90s rave to take you back to when the lockout laws were but a distant glint in the NSW Government’s eye.
Keep Sydney Open celebrates at Harpoon Harry on Saturday, January 18
Activist group Keep Sydney Open have been instrumental in the removal of the lockout laws – if anyone deserves a party, it’s them. So, they’re throwing a huge End of Lockout bash on Saturday at Harpoon Harry. New York DJ Tim Sweeney will command the decks, along with Raw Silk (UK) and Sydney’s Simon Caldwell, Kali, Andy & Oscar and more. Proceeds from the party are being donated to the RFS. Tickets and more info here.