This week the NSW Government unveiled the Greater Sydney 24Hr Strategy which has been developed over more than seven months of deep consultation and co-design with an industry advisory group, and across several NSW Government agencies and councils in Greater Sydney who are actively developing their night economies.

Evidence based, thoroughly designed and site specific, the Sydney 24 HR Strategy sets out a whole of government framework to grow the cultural and night economy to ensure the city can achieve its great potential, supporting jobs and opportunities for live music, arts and culture, as well as hospitality and tourism.

Importantly, changing the narrative around Sydney nightlife features strongly alongside the key themes of governance, precinct development, better regulation, marketing and mobility.

John Wardle from the Live Music Office and part of the Industry Advisory Group involved in the strategy development said:

“Prepared in close partnership with key organisations from the music and arts sector, the 24Hr Economy Strategy from the NSW Government puts into place a robust and confidence-building new foundation from which to now grow the greater city of Sydney.

“This is a new partnership, where state government agencies, local councils and business including hospitality and the arts sectors are connected by new governance structures, infrastructure, support programs and shared priorities and vision in a way not seen before, under a strategic direction that has been thoroughly developed through extensive collaboration, consultation and research.

“Supporting precincts and destinations, responding to scale and previous red tape challenges and recognised complexity, these new structures will boost investment, creating new jobs and businesses where arts, cultural and varied hospitality opportunities can provide for greater diversity Sydney-wide.

“As the wider city looks to grow not only a new 24hr Economy but also navigate new challenges from the Coronavirus, the 24Hr Economy Strategy now sets the scene for a new era and a way forward at a crucial time”.


The Live Music Office looks forward to working further with the NSW Government as the 24 HR Strategy progresses and Sydney comes to life supported by this new and exciting foundation.

The Sydney 24 HR Strategy Website can be found here

View the Sydney 24 HR Strategy Document


The Sydney 24 HR Strategy Summary of Recommendations are:

Integrated planning & place-making

  • Appoint a Coordinator General for Greater Sydney’s 24-hour Economy
  • Establish a ‘Neon Grid’ across Greater Sydney to create single view of existing and potential 24-hour hubs
  • Initiate a city-wide night-time hub certification program
  • Establish 24-hour Economy Acceleration Program for Councils
  • Streamline safety and inspection measures within night-time hubs Expand community and industry-led safety programs Develop and incentivise participation in precinct-based streetscape atmospheres and activations
  • Enable and support the variable use of under-utilised public and private spaces and buildings to accommodate small-scale live performance, arts and culture events
  • Identify and preserve places of historic and cultural significance

Diversification of night-time activities

  • Provide Councils with tools and resources to support better activity mix planning in their 24-hour Economy hubs
  • Support and encourage businesses to diversify
  • Extend opening hours across low impact retail businesses Further streamline liquor licensing to support venues
  • Review live music and noise regulations to maintain opportunities for venues and musicians
  • Simplify requirements and improve affordability for creating pop-ups and cultural events
  • Relaxation of restrictions for food trucks and other types of pop-up activations
  • Simplify requirements for creating cultural events in public spaces
  • Extend and promote opening hours across major cultural institutions
  • Support globally significant events (home-grown and international)
  • Activate major sporting precincts with inclusive before and after activities

Industry & cultural development

  • Develop nuanced sub-sector playbooks
  • Establish ongoing business engagement forums Ensure affordable spaces for creative industries
  • Embed the activation of 24-hour economy activity in the design of new NSW Government precincts
  • Retain and incubate talent in Sydney’s night-time industries

Mobility & improved connectivity

  • Extend late-night transport choice and safety
  • Develop a mobility plan to make it easier to travel between 24-hour economy hubs
  • Implement enhanced parking options for night-time hubs
  • Ensure safe options for end-of-trip connections for workers and consumers of the night-time economy
  • Initiate an arts program to activate transport links

Changing the narrative

  • Activate local marketing and promotion of night-time industries via the Neon Grid
  • Re-establish a unifying vision of Sydney as a vibrant global cultural destination
  • Re-align public perception of health, safety and wellbeing within night-time hubs
  • Develop distinct branding for key night-time hubs to communicate the unique value proposition of each
  • Make the Neon Grid a digital, centralised information platform for all of Greater Sydney’s 24-hour hubs