To reinvigorate Melbourne’s night-time economy post-pandemic, the Victorian Government has made changes to the exemption criteria for late-night liquor licences.

While the existing freeze guidelines on new late-night liquor licences will continue throughout the inner-city municipalities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra and Stonnington, the Government has extended the exemption criteria for these licences to support businesses on their road to recovery.

Venues with existing late-night licences can continue to trade as they always have, while other venues can still apply to trade past 1am if they meet certain exemption conditions.

Changes to the exemptions from 1 July include:

  • increasing the maximum number of patrons in exempt late-night live music venues from 500 to 1,000;
  • exempting major event licences where the event has all local government authority approvals;
  • and expanding the types of limited licences that could be exempt from the freeze by removing the ‘significant’ and ‘major’ qualifiers for cultural, live music, charity or tourist events.

These additional exemptions will help Melbourne’s much-loved live music scene continue to thrive, while also reducing red tape for traders and encouraging community and cultural events to be held throughout the city.

Read the full press release here.