Sydney’s World Bar reveals just how much lockouts have cost them

Article image by Liam @ Hobogestapo

As one of the main live music destinations in Kings Cross, the iconic World Bar was always going to be hit hard by the lockout laws. Still, the multi-level club has valiantly soldiered on, throwing parties and supporting emerging artists and crews every week, and keeping Kings Cross dancing.

Now, World Bar has revealed just how much the lockout laws have cost them in purely financial terms. The club’s submission to the Callinan review into lockouts has been published onlineand within the submission, World Bar reveals that it has experienced a 25% drop in annual turnover since lockouts started in 2014. That’s come alongside a bill of nearly $225,000 to comply with the new licensing conditions. Check out the table of costs below.

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World Bar’s costs to keep operating under the new licensing laws include increased insurance, RSA marshals, ID scanners and operators, and new CCTV upgrades. World Bar’s General Manager Greg Turton writes that the increased costs and reduced turnover have forced them to cut down their spending on bands and entertainment.

“Two years ago we would have had six bands playing on a Friday night, now it’s just two,” Turton writes. “This is the story we hear across Sydney. With more and more venues closing, there are fewer venues for artists to practice and get heard.”

World Bar’s marketing manager Clint O’Hanlon echoes those sentiments in his personal submission, writing, “in terms of forums for artistic outlet, this loss is immense to the music community of Sydney… Two casinos, a bridge and an opera venue do not make Sydney a vibrant city.”

And World Bar doesn’t even offer the most jaw-dropping financial assessment of the lockout laws’ impact. Verandah Bar in the CBD estimates in its submission that the total effect on the economy – including their lower expenditure on staff, security, payroll taxes, and more – totals over $820,000. They have also ceased Saturday training for the first time in 15 years.

Check out Verandah Bar’s breakdown below, and read more of the best submissions to the lockout review over here.