With the NSW election campaign reaching the completely cooked point, the local music industry has never been in such dire straits. The lockouts killed venues and nightspots throughout the CBD, turning Oxford Street into a series of empty shopfronts and Kings Cross into a ghost town, and now the new restrictions on music festivals threatens to turn Sydney into that town from Footloose.
And the biz isn’t taking it lying down, young people, for they are rallying for action today – Thursday 21 February – to allow people to, you know, have fun.
And you know it’s serious because they’ve deployed Murray “The Red Wiggle No Not Simon” Cook to be one of the speakers, alongside the likes of Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus, Justin Hamilton of the Presets, and many other articulate funthusiasts.
Cook, it should be pointed out, isn’t merely an ex-Wiggle: he’s also guitarist in the Soul Movers, has guested with DZ Deathrays and is known to generations of Sydney gig goers as The Really, Really Tall Man You Need To Avoid Getting Caught Behind At Every Show.
He’s a dude who knows a thing or two about the music game, is what we’re saying.
And look, without putting too fine a point on it, the Wiggles are not only a huge live draw – they’re one of the entry points for kids to discover the magnificence of live music.
Take a moment to look into your own soul, gentle reader. Who among is isn’t attending shows in adulthood reaching for that transcendent first moment we heard ‘Hot Potato’ live? None of us, that’s who.
There’ll also be live performances from a festival’s worth of NSW talent: Hottest 100 winners Ocean Alley, the Rubens, Olympia, Urthboy with Bertie Blackman, Cloud Control, and Polish Club (augmented with that charismatic Melbourne blow-in Dan Sultan).
At any rate, if you’re in the Sydney area you should ensure that you’re at Hyde Park North at 6pm tonight for the rally to show your support for a vibrant live scene and a return to the sort of nightlife scene that made Sydney such a great place to be in those pre-lockout days, when things that weren’t casinos were still able to trade until late.
If you can’t make it, sign the petition and let your opinion be heard. But if you can make it, you’ll have a Wiggly good time.
Tell ’em GOAT sent you. We loves the live music around here.