Sydney Night-Time Economy

Sydney's Night Time Economy. Image courtesy Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Sydney’s Night Time Economy. Image courtesy Liquor & Gaming NSW.

The NSW Government is committed to growing a vibrant, safe and diverse night-time economy (NTE) to enhance Sydney’s standing as a global city, and make the city a safe and great place to live, work and visit.

What is the night-time economy and why is it important? 

The night-time economy (NTE) generally involves social, cultural and business activities that take place from 6pm-6am. The Night-time economy is a key driver of growth, and a significant contributor to the economy more broadly, employing around 1.17M people across Australia and generating over $121M in sales turnover nationally.[1]

Sydney has a vibrant night-life that attracts visitors and boosts the local economy employing over 32,411 people[2]. The NSW Government is taking steps to ensure Sydney’s night-time economy continues to offer vibrant and diverse cultural experiences and delivers support to artists, musicians, businesses and their local communities long-term.

What is Create NSW doing?

In May 2018 Create NSW made a final submission on behalf of the NTE Taskforce to the Legislative Inquiry – Music and Arts Economy in New South Wales, to review the submission click here.

NTE Taskforce

Arts, screen and culture play a key role in building Sydney’s night-time vibrancy. Create NSW is leading the NSW Government’s Night-time Economy Taskforce which includes 16 NSW Government agencies and the City of Sydney. The Taskforce is working to implement actions which aim to address barriers to, and identify opportunities for, growing a vibrant, safe and diverse night-time economy for the Sydney CBD and Kings cross entertainment precincts. The actions were developed by the Sydney Night-Time Economy Roundtable which comprised community organisations, business and government representatives.

Download the NSW Government Response to the Sydney Night-Time-Economy Roundtable Actions

The Taskforce is focused on improving the diversity of arts and cultural offerings, including hospitality, retail and live music, whilst promoting safety, and cultural and behavioural change.

Night-time Economy Action Plan

Key actions include:

  • Developing a Sydney night-time economy masterplan with an overarching vision for Sydney at night.
  • Promoting Sydney’s diverse and vibrant night-life to encourage visitors and boost the local economy.
  • Investigating reforms to planning regulations to encourage new night-time offerings from entrepreneurs, creatives and small businesses.
  • Working with stakeholders to facilitate the use of vacant commercial spaces and public places for temporary arts and cultural activation.
  • Exploring options for an increased late-night retail and non-licensed premises trading program.
  • Investigating the development of a NSW contemporary music strategy.

Industry engagement

Create NSW and the NTE Taskforce are engaging with industry stakeholders throughout the implementation of the NTE actions.

Create NSW is working with the Committee for Sydney as a member of its Night-Time Economy Commission, and Liveability/Lovability Taskforce, to promote and enhance the night-time offerings in Sydney.

Create NSW is a sponsor of the upcoming EMC Global Cities After Dark Forum, an industry led forum highlighting best practice and future solutions for a successful and thriving nightlife globally.

Create NSW has partnered with the Live Music Office to deliver Live and Local, a strategic program for local councils in regional NSW and Western Sydney. The program is activating local places and spaces, providing performance opportunities for musicians, and developing local audiences to create vibrant communities.

NTE funding support opportunities

Create NSW provides support to professional artists and arts/cultural organisations through the Arts and Cultural Development Program (ACDP). There are currently two funding programs available that can support night-time activity in Sydney, as well as other areas:

If you have further questions contact:

Genelle Watkins
Senior Manager, Strategic Projects

Relaxation of the NSW Liquor Laws 

Information on the lockout and last drinks laws can be found on the Liquor and Gaming NSW website. Venues that host live entertainment and wish to apply for the later lock out trial can access further information here.

 [1] The Australian Night Time Economy 2009-2015, updated June 2017, prepared by Martin Houghton for the National Local Government Drug and Alcohol Committee pg. 4

[2] Ibid, pg. 40.


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