This website has been developed as a resource for all people who have an interest in working cooperatively to enhance the quality and diversity of late night entertainment venues, and the safety and vibrancy of the precincts in which the venues are located, in all major cities across the world.
The site has been launched by prominent nightclub owner and hotelier, Peter Iwaniuk, who has owned and operated many licensed venues in Melbourne, Australia for approximately 30 years. Peter has also been the former president of the Melbourne Nightclub Owners Association and the Australian Nightclub and Bar Association. The original research and advocacy papers on this site have been prepared by David Butten who is a member of Peter's senior management team with valuable research support from another member of the senior management team, Sharnee Sullivan.
Prior to joining Peter's company, David Butten had extensive management and consultancy experience in State and Local Government covering the disciplines of liquor licensing, crime prevention, community health and safety, community development, alcohol and drug policy, education, and strategic planning. David was also formerly CEO of the Australian Nightclub and Bar Association. The late night entertainment industry has faced huge challenges in recent years as it has expanded rapidly across the world to meet the demands of new 24 hour cosmopolitan urban environments, changes in social structures and attitudes, vastly increased numbers of global travellers, huge transitions in technology, entertainment mediums and communications, and an increasingly costly, complex and often hostile regulatory regime.
In many locations, planners have failed to understand and keep pace with change, and have failed to provide adequate infrastructure such as policing and security, public transport, lighting and public toilet amenities to cope with vast increases of people venturing out at night. They have also allowed conflicts of uses to occur, such as inappropriate residential development in the heart of entertainment precincts.
Late night entertainment venues have unfortunately become a cheap and easy target when problems do occasionally arise in entertainment precincts from poor planning decisions, lack of infrastructure, anti social behaviour attributable to wider cultural influences, or incidents unrelated to late night venue activity that may simply occur in the vicinity of a venue. When perceived problems are highlighted, often blown out of proportion by the tabloid media, Governments often engage in knee jerk reactions such as 'lockouts' and vendettas against late night venues which can do untold social and economic harm if not challenged.
The late night entertainment industry needs to develop an improved capacity to defend itself from ill informed criticism and stereotyping, and better educate politicians, government officials, the media and the wider community on the true dynamics of entertainment precincts, and why they are such a valuable social and economic resource that must be supported and nurtured, not demonised.
Hopefully this website can assist in this respect. It is a work in progress, and any feedback and contribution of ideas, experiences and research that can be shared with other interested persons would be appreciated.