The New South Wales Government has announced that it will provide an exemption to lockout regulations for venues within the vicinity of Oxford Street for the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The one-off exemption means patrons can continue to be admitted into venues area after the usual times of 1:30 or 2am. This is in line with the arrangements made for other major events, such as New Year’s Eve or major sporting finals.
The parade will take place on the night of Saturday 3 March, finishing at 11pm.
“The NSW Government is pleased to relax the lockout laws as part of its support for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade,” stated Minister for Racing Paul Toole.
“It’s an internationally-renowned event that attracts visitors from all over the world and injects around $40 million into the NSW economy each year.
“Relaxing the requirements will give people more time to make their way to surrounding venues and events when the parade finishes.”
However, venues will still need to cease serving alcohol at their normal times of 3am on the morning of Sunday 4 March, or 3.30am for venues with live entertainment extensions, and comply with their other licence conditions, Minister Toole has also stated that police and L&GNSW will be present in the Oxford St, Sydney CBD and Kings Cross areas on the night, inspecting venues.
Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the decision recognises the importance of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as it celebrates an historical milestone.
“The city will come alive and this move allows businesses to take full advantage of the influx of the large crowds expected,” Mr Harwin said.
“It’s an important milestone for the LGBTI community and we trust everyone will have a safe evening celebration.”
The map of the area eligible for the lockout exemption can be found here.
Image credit: Jeffrey Feng