MCF Chat: Tyson Koh, Keep Sydney Open

By: Turnip Media + Worksmith

Tyson Koh of Keep Sydney Open was the first talk on Symposium Day. He spoke of his commitment to overturning the prohibitive lockout laws in Sydney - which were lifted on January 14 this year - and of the city’s culture the laws stifled.

  1. You mentioned at the beginning of your talk that it was strange to be asked to come and speak in Melbourne, why strange?

Melbourne is known for its bar scene there are a lot of venues that innovate and provide something really special for their clients.

We have incredible bars in Sydney but I don’t think Melbourne needs to take any advice from us, so I was surprised when I was asked.

But I was really keen to meet industry people here in Melbourne and share some of the stories that we’ve experienced in Sydney.

  1. You mentioned you worked in the music industry, what did you do?

From 2011-2018, I was the producer of RAGE on the ABC. I’d program songs, pick all the guest programmers. I was really lucky to have that job and I really enjoyed it.

I met people like Billy Corgan and Judas Priest.

Neneh Cherry, I’m a big fan and that was really exciting; Giorgio Moroder, Cherie Currie from The Runaways, all kinds of artists.

This job was one of the reasons I got into the advocacy of Keep Sydney Open. All these musicians were telling me how they couldn’t go and do a small show after a gig, or just go out for a drink. I saw how the music industry was being affected which in turn affects the venues, the culture and then the economy as a whole in Sydney.

What’s your favourite cocktail?

I have three!

I love a good Dirty Martini, a Negroni and a Whisky or Bourbon Sour.