Narrative changing for Night Time Industries Association

20 February, 2019 by Andy Young

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) is gaining momentum both in terms of its membership base and its bid to shift the narrative surrounding that state of Sydney’s nightlife.

Since its launch late last year the NTIA has been working hard to change the mindset that has plagued Sydney’s night-time; from violence, alcohol, police, lockouts and health to a more positive view of night-time economy, cultural value and city vibrancy.

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That shift is gaining momentum as the association gains members from outside of hospitality and the importance of music, arts, culture and night-time vibrancy are seen as being about more than what time a venue can serve alcohol until.

Chair of the NTIA, Michael Rodrigues, told TheShout: “This week we welcomed Arthurs Pizza (five locations), Playbill (Hordern Pavillion), The Old Clare Hotel, APRA AMCOS, the Live Music Office and Applejack Hospitality into our ranks.

“Combining resources across the night time economy remains our best opportunity to achieve changes in the regulatory landscape that will put Sydney back on track. With the election only four weeks away it’s now or never. The door has been opened we now need to push our way through.”

The recent Deloitte Access Economics report which highlighted the Sydney’s night-time economy is potentially losing around $16bn a year gained a lot of mainstream media attention, with many talking about the night-time economy beyond just the lockout laws.

Solotel was one of the early members of the NTIA and CEO Justine Baker told TheShout that while the momentum is strong, it’s important to keep going and for more organisations to throw their support behind the association.

“There is real momentum behind the Night Time Industries Association and what we’re doing,” Baker said.

“Greater support of the NTIA would go some way to making our feelings felt. It’s also cross-industry, it’s not just hospitality. We’ve seen support come through from the other industries. More hospitality people would be great, but our purpose is to be seen as a cross-industry body, not just a single issue body.”

The concept of this being about a wider cultural opportunity to revive Sydney’s night-life was eloquently captured by Jake Smyth one of the co-founders of the Mary’s Group, another association member, who spoke at the #UniteForTheNight launch last week.

“I’m here every day in all of my venues because of young people. I think it’s a throwaway line to say that they are our future, but the reality is that we are their future. We are the ones who it falls to, to create that future and allow them a future that is worthwhile.

“I am proud to be standing here as a member of this Night Time Industries Association. When I thought about what I was going to say tonight, I thought ‘why do I do this?’ Some days it is fucking hard work, some days there is not a lot of reward for that hard work. But the reality is I am here because our culture needs it, our culture demands hard work.

“Creating culture is hard work, and culture demands a commitment to community and this community that I am standing in front of right now is a powerful one, one I truly believe in, and one that I honestly think is capable of affecting real change, for my kids and in a city that sorely needs it.

“Sydney is a sad place at the moment, but it’s not going to be [a sad place] in five years and it’s not going to be in 10 years because of the hard work of this association and these people in this room. I am going to put my fucking shoulder to that grindstone and I encourage all of you to do it with us.”

Details on how you can join and put your support behind the night-time economy revival bid, are available on the Night Time Industries Association website.