Future proofing Sydney’s 24-Hour economy

This March, VibeLab Asia Pacific presents Global Cities After Dark Sydney – a capacity building and resilience focussed program of international keynotes, sector-specific workshops and a ‘Celebrate Local’ closing event, co-designed with local night-time economy sector leaders. Global Cities After Dark Sydney is proudly sponsored by the NSW Government and City of Sydney.

Held over five nights, from Monday 22 March to Thursday 25 March, Global Cities After Dark Sydney signifies the first time Sydney’s night-time economy sector has come together since the pandemic to actively plan for the implementation of the NSW Government 24-Hour Economy Strategy. The program focuses on the following sectors within Sydney’s night-time economy:

●  Hospitality

●  Live Music and Entertainment

●  Major Events and Tourism

●  Transport and Health & Safety

“As we support and champion a safe, prosperous and vibrant 24-hour economy in Sydney, it’s vital local state government and the industry at large work together collaboratively,” said Minister Ayres, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

“Global Cities After Dark presents a week-long opportunity to fast-track discussions, workshop ideas and rebuild constructively at scale.”

“Sydney’s night-time economy has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as we cautiously begin our recovery and shake off the last of the lockouts this month, we have a renewed opportunity to work together to create the safe, diverse and exciting nightlife that a global city like Sydney deserves,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

“We are proud to once again financially support the Global Cities After Dark forum, now in its fifth year, and I am pleased to see it go ahead in a COVID Safe way.”

About Global Cities After Dark

Global Cities After Dark was founded in 2017 by Global Night Mayor Advocate and former Night Mayor of Amsterdam Mirik Milan and VibeLab Asia Pacific Director Jane Slingo. It was the first forum in the Asia Pacific dedicated to the night-time and social economy, and in the years since, Global Cities After Dark has hosted over 450 delegates from over 15 countries and 20 cities. These include creative and nightlife leaders, city planners, community organisations, local and state government representatives, policy advisors, safety experts, peak bodies and trade associations.

2021 Global Cities After Dark Sydney is proudly sponsored by the NSW Government, City of Sydney and Powerhouse Museum through the Powerhouse NSW Creative Industries Residency Program. The sector specific workshops are created in collaboration with Night Time Industries Association (Hospitality) and MusicNSW. (Live Music and Entertainment)

Each night of the program from Monday 22 March to Thursday 25 March will have a different sector focus, with Global Cities After Dark concluding on Friday 26 March with ‘Celebrate Local’ – a music and culinary event held at Maton: Australia’s Guitar at Powerhouse Museum Sydney.

GLOBAL CITIES AFTER DARK SYDNEY 2021 PROGRAM:

Monday 22 March: Hospitality sector keynote and workshop

Learning Centre, Powerhouse Museum

6:30pm – 9:30pm AEDT

International keynote will be live-streamed from 6:30pm – 7:00pm AEDT for those unable to attend due to capacity restrictions

Speakers and hosts:

Riyaaz Almani – CEO and MD, Impresario Entertainment (Mumbai, India)

Michael Rodrigues – inaugural NSW 24-hour Economy Commissioner and former chair of the Night Time Industries Association

Kathy Savill – Director, A Bite at a Time

Tuesday 23 March: Live music and Entertainment sector keynote and workshop

Learning Centre, Powerhouse Museum

6:30pm – 9:30pm AEDT

International keynote will be live-streamed from 6:30pm – 7:00pm AEDT for those unable to attend due to capacity restrictions

Speakers and hosts:

Paulette Long OBE – Music Publisher, Consultant and Deputy Chair, UK Music Diversity Task Force (London, UK)

Emily Collins – Managing Director, MusicNSW

Tanya Ali – Program Manager, FBi Radio

Wednesday 24 March: Major Events and Tourism sector keynote and workshop

Learning Centre, Powerhouse Museum

6:30pm – 9:30pm AEDT

International keynote will be live-streamed from 6:30pm – 7:00pm AEDT for those unable to attend due to capacity restrictions

Speakers and hosts:

Vince Kadlubek – Founder, Meow Wolf (Santa Fe, USA)

Tory Loudon – Ideas Curator, Vivid Sydney

Ali Murphy-Oates – Ngiyampaa Wailwan woman

Carla Theunissen – Acting Director Parramatta Artist Studios and City Animation, City of Parramatta

Thursday 25 March: Transport and Health & Safety keynote and workshop

Future Transport Digital Accelerator, Sydney Startup Hub

8:00am – 10:30am AEDT

International keynote will be live-streamed from 8:00am – 8:30am AEDT for those unable to attend due to capacity restrictions

Speakers and hosts:

Mark Curran – Rail Closures Planning Manager, former Night Tube Sponsor, Transport for London (London, UK)

Brooke Knox – Director, Industry Engagement and Innovation Partnerships,Transport for NSW

Stephanie Strilakos – Senior Service Designer – Future Transport Digital Accelerator, Transport for NSW.

Friday 26 March: Celebrate Local closing event

 MATON: Australia’s Guitar, Powerhouse Museum. 7:00pm – 10:30pm AEDT. Panels, speeches and in conversations will be live-streamed for those unable to attend due to capacity restrictions

Speakers and performers:

Host: Robbie Buck, ABC Radio Breakfast

City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully

Carla Theunissen – Acting Director Parramatta Artist Studios and City Animation, City of Parramatta

Kathy Savill – Director, A Bite at a Time

Mark Curran – Rail Closures Planning Manager, former Night Tube Sponsor, Transport for London (London, UK)

Michael Rodrigues –  inaugural NSW 24-hour Economy Commissioner and former chair of the Night Time Industries Association

Paulette Long OBE – Music Publisher, Consultant and Deputy Chair, UK Music Diversity Task Force (London, UK)

Riyaaz Almani – CEO and MD, Impresario Entertainment (Mumbai, India)

Stephanie Strilakos – Senior Service Designer – Future Transport Digital Accelerator, Transport for NSW

Tanya Ali – Program Manager, FBi Radio

Vince Kadlubek – Founder, Meow Wolf (Santa Fe, USA)

Performances from: Barkaa, Kyva, Sarah Houbolt

International speakers:

Hospitality: Riyaaz Amlani – CEO & Managing Director Impresario Entertainment (Mumbai, India)

Riyaaz has expanded Impresario’s hospitality footprint by establishing 58 restaurants across 16 cities in India. Its umbrella of brands includes SOCIAL, antiSOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Cafe, Flea Bazaar Café, Ishaara, Slink & Bardot, Souffle S’il Vous Plait, Mocha, Prithvi Café, and The Tasting Room. Impresario was noted by Forbes in January 2021 as one of India’s top five Food and Beverage companies.

Live Music and Entertainment: Paulette Long OBE – Music Publisher, Consultant, Deputy Chair, UK Music Diversity Task Force (London, UK)

The UK heavyweight has worked within the music industry for over 35 years, currently holding a number of Board level directorships. Paulette continues to contribute to the sustained growth of the music sector. Her career has included many decades working as a music publisher, but also in artist management, marketing and PR. Paulette has a particular passion for and expertise in mentoring, consultancy and diversity. In 2016 Paulette was awarded an OBE for her services to the music industry and was added to Music Week’s Women in Music Roll Of Honour in the same year. In 2017 Paulette received a Gold Badge Award from BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors).

Major Events and Tourism: Vince Kadlubek – Founder, Meow Wolf (Sante Fe, USA)

Hailed by international media as one of the most inspiring creative entrepreneurs in the world, Vince Kadlubek is a Founder of Meow Wolf – an art collective that has transformed into an award-winning Art and Entertainment Production Company that specializes in immersive, open-world walk through experiences. Meow Wolf’s first permanent exhibition, the House of Eternal Return, inside a former bowling alley owned by Martin, opened in 2016 in Santa Fe and has attracted more than 2 million visitors. Kadlubek has been a force of vision in the realm of experiential art, and in 2020 launched a creative consulting agency called Spatial Activations as a platform to usher in a new era of experiential art in modern developments and everyday life. Vince is most passionate about co-creating fully-realized alternative realities that bring paradigm-shifting transformation and inspiration to the world. Meow Wolf was voted by Time Out as one of the top five experiences in the world, and in 2018 a feature-length documentary Origin Story was released on Netflix.

Transport and Health & Safety: Mark Curran – Rail Closures Planning Manager, former Night Tube Sponsor, Transport for London (London, UK)

Mark started his career in 2001 with a transport planning consultancy in Birmingham, England.  He joined Transport for London in 2007 responsible for planning long term closures/blockades on the Underground and in 2009 moved on to oversee operational planning and demand management on the Underground for the London 2012 Olympics.  Following a successful Olympics, as a result of a broader transport planning exercise Mark identified the business case for operating Underground trains overnight at weekends.  This became ‘Night Tube’ and Mark was employed as the project sponsor through to the phased implementation of the service in 2016. Mark is particularly driven by customer handling and customer service in unusual or perturbed environments.

Meow Wolf Founder Vince Kadlubek said: ‘Sydney’s nightlife scene has unlimited potential given the city’s incredible economy and emerging youth movements. It feels like a bunch of fireworks waiting for the right spark. After recovering from COVID Sydney has an incredible opportunity to take advantage of its global position.’

These international experts will be joined by Sydney sector experts and leaders, who will host a series of workshops from Monday 22 March – Thursday 25 March. The sector-specific workshops aim to harness and rapidly exchange the collective knowledge of a range of different actors and experts from within Sydney’s night-time economy, during a critical time as Sydney embarks on the implementation of the NSW 24-Hour Economy Strategy. The local sector experts hosting these workshops include:

Hospitality: Michael Rodrigues – inaugural NSW 24-hour Economy Commissioner and former chair of the Night Time Industries Association and Kathy Savill – Director, A Bite at a Time.

Live Music and Entertainment: Emily Collins – Managing Director, MusicNSW and Tanya Ali – Program Manager, FBi Radio

Major Events and Tourism: Tory Loudon – Ideas Curator, Vivid Sydney; Ali Murphy-Oates – Ngiyampaa Wailwan woman and Carla Theunissen – Acting Director Parramatta Artist Studios and City Animation, City of Parramatta.

Transport and Health & Safety: Brooke Knox – Director, Industry Engagement and Innovation Partnerships, Transport for NSW and Stephanie Strilakos – Senior Service Designer – Future Transport Digital Accelerator, Transport for NSW.

Michael Rodrigues inaugural NSW 24-hour Economy Commissioner and former chair of the Night Time Industries Association said: ‘Since its inaugural conference in 2017, Global Cities After Dark has been a catalyst for change in the narrative surrounding Sydney’s nightlife. I look forward to participating in this year’s conference as we look to unlock the potential of Sydney’s night-time economy and in so doing accelerate our recovery from the pandemic.’

MusicNSW Managing Director Emily Collins said: ‘Nightlife in Sydney is at such an exciting turning point. A perfect storm is brewing, with governments and industry aligned like never before, and music, art and good business at its core. Sydney is about to have its phoenix rising moment, and that’s an exciting thing to be a part of.’

Participation in the workshops is free with registration with limited capacity due to COVID safety restrictions. To register, visit globalcitiesafterdark.com/sector-workshops


About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.