'Really out of step': NSW government panned for Sydney nightlife video

The Transport for NSW video promoting Sydney's night life Source: Facebook

An anti-lockout laws lobby group has panned the NSW government for a video it posted onto social media which claimed that Sydney's nightlife was 'buzzing this summer'.

NSW Premier Mike Baird's government has been grilled for releasing a video onto the Transport for NSW Facebook page on December 8, which claimed that Sydney's night life was "buzzing" despite the construction of the light rail system throughout the CBD.

The video, which has been shared more than 640 times, shows local singer and dancer Jayden Rodrigues taking viewers on a stroll through Chinatown's night market, Events Cinemas on George street, a karaoke bar and the Capital Theatre for a viewing of Aladdin the musical.

In it, Rodrigues says: "The city is buzzing this summer, with so many ways to spin your night. There is something for everyone."

Tyson Koh from the anti-lockout law lobby group Keep Sydney Open, has called the video's depiction of nightlife in Sydney "abysmal" and said it ignored the "negative impacts" of controversial lockout laws, which came into effect in 2014.

"It’s clearly a government propaganda piece that’s really out of step with what many people in the community actually want to do, particularly adults," he told SBS.

“All the activities there are suitable particularly for younger people and families with young kids.

"Most of us (that go out) are adults and I understand that the video is designed to attract people into the city because of the construction in the area, however they’re going to have to try a lot harder if they really want people to come back onto the streets."

Mr Koh said the video's focus on claiming that Sydney was "still alive" despite the closure of parts of the CBD due to the construction, failed to address the "real issues" related to the lockout laws.

He also said it the video should have focused on smaller and local venues.

"What’s most troubling from our end is that instead of supporting some of the smaller venues and the live music scene, and the venues that are within that precinct, such as the Hudson Ballroom or the Metro, the video has gone about promoting Events Cinemas and a Broadway musical," he said. 

Fun at the arcade (Facebook)
Screenshot from the video of fun at the arcade (Facebook)

"None of it actually promotes any homegrown culture. What’s been central to our campaign is the desire for people to go out and dance, and listen to music – it’s got nothing to do with alcohol.

"Instead of using that as a reason to come to the city, like people dancing, listening to a DJ and going to clubs, you’ve got three people who are dancing on a dance simulation machine, which seems really dystopian to me."

The reception on Facebook has been equally critical, with one person calling it a "pathetic campaign", while another said "Sydney can't get any lamer than this".

The lobby group has shared a spin-off video created by freelance video editor Dylan Behan, which shows empty streets around Kings Cross. 

Others have posted on social media their responses to the video promoted by Transport for NSW.

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