Arts and live music to be legalised in shops, offices and industrial spaces

Thursday 25 February 2021

Inner West Council is scrapping the need to submit a development application to hold live music, artistic and cultural events in shopfronts, offices and industrial premises, making thousands of new spaces available at low cost for artists to perform, practice and exhibit their work.

The policy aims to counteract the shrinking number of live music venues and artistic spaces throughout Sydney.

“As result of this policy change, live performances and exhibitions will now be able to take place as ‘exempt development’ with an audience of up to 150 people in industrial premises and 80 people for businesses based in and around the main streets,” said Mayor Byrne.

“There will be no need for a costly development application to be submitted, making thousands of new spaces available at low cost for artists to perform, practice and exhibit their work. We are the first Council in NSW to do this, I hope others get on board too.

“These simple set of rules will allow local musicians, actors and visual artists to make use of shopfronts, warehouses and office spaces, which are currently sitting dormant and unused after dark and on weekends.

“No costly DA will be necessary so landlords will have an incentive to make some extra cash and artists will have a plethora of potential local properties to make use of for their work. 

“For example, this will mean that a teenager, who is learning her craft as a musician, can simply pitch to the owner of a bookstore to make use of their premises after dark or on weekends, when the property would be sitting empty and unused. Council has no business getting in the way of that.

“The finalised policy has been submitted to the State Government. We are waiting for them to gazette the policy so that these new, common-sense rules can be rolled out in 2021,” he added.

The new policy also extends trading hours for main street businesses to between 7am and 10pm on main streets without approval.

For media enquiries, contact Bill Hawker, Mayoral Media Officer, 9392 5685,         

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Page last updated: 30 Mar 2021