Only three more weekends until the lock-outs begin in earnest and you don’t have to be Fred Nile to realise that Oxford Street’s a war zone. If it’s not would-be felons you’re avoiding in the streets it’s battalions of cops and their pesky sniffer dogs marching through the inside of nightclubs. And then there are the scene queens to deal with!

Gay rights activist Gary Burns said in a letter-to-the-editor about the lock-outs last week, If we are ever going to address the problems of alcohol-related violence in society, we firstly have to address the reasons why Generation Y want to drink themselves into oblivion.

Well, I respect Gary for the great accomplishments he’s had on behalf of our community, but the desire to get blind drunk is not an issue facing just one generation of our country. From Gen Y right up to the Baby Boomers and beyond, we live in a culture of working hard and playing even harder, and nowhere is it more visible than in the gay scene.

On top of the lock-outs, which will knock some of the larger operators and their promoters for six, it’s even more disappointing to read how difficult it still is for small bar operators to get up and running in NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald revealed recently how potential operators have to go around and seek the approval of the community in which they wish to operate before they can do so, from residents right down to the local church.

While most 21st century cities would legislate so that objectors are responsible for contacting the licensing authority to lodge their own concerns, here in NSW we have yet another artificial barrier to having a truly satisfying culture.

For a taste of how good Sydney could be (this century, preferably), check out Sticky (entry via Taggarts Lane off Crown St, Surry Hills). I’m sure you will agree that it’s just fab-a-licious.
Scene of last week’s undignified dog sniffing episode which keeps playing out in my mind, at Handle Bar at Gilligans this Saturday night is none other than, err, me, one half of the Different Drummer DJs, who will be following on from the sensational DJ Sveta. So if you want to escape the stresses of modern life with a high-density dose of chunky electro tech, join us. Entry is $10.

Down the strip at Slide, A.D.D. turns two with the Disco-Licious party. Music is from DJs GI Jode, Luna T and Paul Hatz plus live vocalists Kristen Pearson, Adam Michael and Rosemarie Olk. Help celebrate the best funky soulful house night on Oxford St. Entry $20 / $15 doorlist.

Fag Tag will return to the Opera Bar on Sunday 16 November from 4pm, then Non-Scene is having an afternoon soiree at the Camperdown Bowling Club from 4pm on Sunday 7 December, with Cindy Pastel, Tobin Saunders, Ben Drayton, Matt Vaughan and Stephen Allkins.

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