A committee of industry experts is being assembled to guide Melbourne’s nightlife recovery plan

Get the latest from Beat


A committee of industry experts is being assembled to guide Melbourne’s nightlife recovery plan

Words by Kate Streader

Cherry Bar owner James Young has been shortlisted to lead the Night-time Economy Advisory Committee.

A group of experts across Melbourne’s hospitality, live music and arts industries have been nominated to form a Night-time Economy Advisory Committee which will work with City of Melbourne to reinvigorate the city after the devastation of COVID-19.

Cherry Bar’s James Young, who also owns Yah Yah’s and Hotel Westwood, has been shortlisted to lead the committee, which will comprise industry leaders and two academic advisors. Thirteen potential members have been shortlisted and will be considered by Councillors next week.

The shortlisted members include Co-CEO of Melbourne Theatre Company and President of Arts Projects Australia, Virginia Lovett; former Music Victoria CEO, Patrick Donovan; Owner of Epocha Restaurant and Elyros at Home, Angie Giannakodakis; Creative Director and CEO of Melbourne Fringe, Simon Abrahams; Board Director of PBS 106.7FM and Arts Centre Melbourne Associate Director of Strategy and Advocacy, Lauren O’Dwyer; and more.

The committee’s academic advisors will include Nicole Kalms, the Founding Director of the Monash University XYX Lab and Michele Acuto, Professor of Global Urban Politics and Director of the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne.

Working alongside City of Melbourne and the Victorian government, the committee will lend their expertise and input to guide decision-making and help solve challenges facing the city’s night-time businesses.

“Our vibrant and diverse nightlife is part of Melbourne’s DNA and is what draws people into the city after dark,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“We’re bringing the ‘who’s who’ of Melbourne’s nightlife together to work with us. With night-time pedestrian activity still at 50 to 60 per cent lower than pre-COVID-19 levels, we need to pull out all stops to protect and revitalise our night-time economy.

“Issues to be considered by the committee include city safety and creating diverse night-time offers and activities to reflect Melbourne being a 24-hour city,” she said.

Visit the City of Melbourne website for more information.