Late night trading for live music and performance venues

As a strong supporter of the industry, we made changes to encourage a more diverse range of places to play.

Live band plays music on stage in front of a small audience

What we’re doing

Incentives to encourage new dedicated performance venues and existing licensed venues to program live music, performance and cultural uses include:

  • an extra trading hour for venues in late-night trading areas programming live entertainment or creative or cultural events. 
  • higher patron capacity and later trading hours for dedicated performance venues 

To guide the use of these new incentives, we’ve updated the definitions for performance, creative or cultural uses:

  • Live entertainment, being an event at which one or more persons are engaged to play or perform live or pre-recorded music, or a performance at which the performers or at least some of them are present.
  • Display, projection or production of an artwork, craft, design, media, image or immersive technology.
  • Rehearsal, teaching or discussion of art, craft, design, literature or performance.

Dedicated live music and performance venues

Provisions in the late-night trading section of the Sydney Development Control Plan allow additional trading hours for dedicated performance venues in line with the trading hours identified in chapter 3.15 late night trading.

Patron capacity for dedicated live music and performance venues has been updated, with Category B – Low Impact premises now incorporating a capacity of up to 250 patrons.

Venues seeking to demonstrate that they are a dedicated live performance venue will need to provide specific information.

Venues hosting cultural events and live performance

Venues in a late-night trading area seeking to apply for an additional operating hour for programming occasional performances, cultural programs or events need to provide:

  • a description of the type of music, visual or performance art or other cultural events that may be staged at the premises
  • details of the space to be used and permanent or semi-permanent structure(s) and equipment to present live performance and creative and cultural uses. This may include any stage and audience standing or seating area
  • arrangements for booking and promoting performances.

The performance, creative or cultural use must occur for a minimum of 45 minutes after 6pm and the additional trading hour will only apply on evenings featuring a performance or cultural event.

If you’re not sure whether your venue is in a late night trading area, please refer to chapter 3.15 of section 3 in the Sydney Development Control Plan.

It’s important to note that the City of Sydney is the consent authority for proposals of less than $10 million in value. If you’re looking at opening a new venue valued at more than $10 million, you’ll be assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment.