“Nothing good ever happens past the hour of 1am.”  Cinderella knew this and most people over the age of 40 probably do too but

we have in this country a really sick outlook on what’s entertainment and what’s actually just facilitating alcohol abuse.

Where America fails daily to sort out their gun culture, Australia fails every day on sorting out our relationship with the drugs and alcohol.

There’s a couple of key beliefs that are just simply not true and anyone in government or part of the hoteliers association who says otherwise, has their own agenda.

One of which is that given 24 hour liquor licenses or even licenses to serve alcohol till 4am or thereabouts is all part of making Adelaide a vibrant entertainment hub that allows it to compete with other world cities.

This makes no sense to me, and from someone who’s painted the town red in plenty of cities around the world, it’s never been my experience of these exciting places, that having 24 hour drinking places, or even early morning equates to the vibrancy of the city. It just doesn’t. The cool people go home.

New York for example, the city that apparently never sleeps, ended up for me with a small group of Aussies, all of whom had typically bad Australian nightlife habits, i.e. we don’t know when to go home, with us lurching around the city desperate to find something open after 2am.

The result being, no signs of all the fabulous New Yorkers that were buzzing around the streets earlier, and the only bar we found open was the type of joint you’d have found Jeffrey Dahmer drinking at.

And Paris, try to drag your night on past 2am and you’ll start experiencing some serious lost in translation.  Most of Paris at this time is a couple of hours into their beauty sleeps.

Maybe this is why they have the reputation for being the most beautiful city in the world, because they don’t have blood shot eyes and still have the energy to be glamorous and aloof?

Copenhagen, London, Barcelona and the list of great cities goes on, are mostly locked up, stools on tables past the hours of 2am and no one’s exactly accusing them of being a massive yawn fest.

So why do we think it’s so necessary to open past the hours of say 2am or 3am?  Who is planting the seed in our heads that if we go back to earlier closing hours that we’re going back to the 1950’s?  People that might be benefiting financially from keeping certain venues open perhaps?

Tell me exactly what happens after these hours that are in any way adding benefit to our culture, or reputation or us as individuals?

The SA government’s new ‘smaller venue licenses’ which promotes a small venue bar culture growing in Adelaide with the licenses allowing them to trade until midnight is a such a fantastic thing.

What this will create is a utilization of the city’s little laneways and backstreets in a way that transforms it into a previously one or two strip, same old, same old experience, into one that offers something new, modern and appealing to those on a night out.

It also takes the focus off the culture of we’re open every hour godsends, which is just about more drinking.   What’s happened in other states who have encouraged the same, is venues and owners are be forced to find their ‘something special’ their ‘point of difference’ to build clientele, with fantastic results for the city.

As Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood has said before, “We need a balance between a city that’s alive and a city that’s safe,” he said.

“The majority of anti-social behaviour happens after 3am.”

I understand I might sound like a little bit of a reformed smoker on this one given my past history of post 3am drinking under the light of the Hindley Street sparkly trees, however from someone that’s been right there…I can confirm, there is nothing good happening in the hours past 3am.



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