Last weekend thousands of Sydney-siders marched from Belmore Park to Taylor Square in protest of the Sydney lockout laws led by Keep Sydney Open (KSO). KSO believes that both safety and entertainment can be achieved simultaneously, allowing Sydney to retain its freedom while making our nightlife safer and includes local partners FBi Radio, Oxford Art Factory, DJ Warehouse, Future Classic and inthemix.

 

 

Some seriously awesome, inspiring speeches were heard on the day. In particular, the passionate leader of KSO, Tyson Koh as well as The Jezebels lead singer Hayley Mary making some amazing points. Hayley talked about growing up in Sydney and our unique atmosphere - featuring everything from warehouse parties and drag queens, to classical music. Since the introduction of the lockout laws, countless artists (and many of their fans), however, have moved to Melbourne - the city fast on the rise to being seen as the new cultural capital of Australia. But as Hayley stood up, she asked an important question, why should we have to?

Sure, we could move. But Sydney is our home, and we can't just sit back while blanket rules and an illogical curfew curb our city's nightlife. People often talk about the 70s and 80s being the golden age of music/partying/and entertainment in Sydney. But Hayley's message was clear, the golden age of Sydney is yet to come!

Any person with (half a brain, or) an interest in business, culture, or economics would surely agree that in ten years time, Sydney's lockout laws will be remembered, regretfully, as a ridiculous pause in our history. A bump in the road, yes, but a bump so monstrous it's caused the ruin of untold numbers of not just pubs and clubs, but other seemingly unrelated businesses like kebab shops and even newsagents.

Why can’t we become more like Berlin, more like Paris or Amsterdam? Why can’t we become one of best places in the world for evening entertainment... while retaining a safe environment. Because, at the end of the day, how come Europe can do it, and we can't? There are so many amazing suggestions that could bring us back to vibrancy - appointing a night mayor for starters makes perfect sense; someone to navigate some of the inevitable obstacles that go hand in hand with running a night time economy while helping to grow opportunities in an economy that (like any good growing business) could clearly benefit from extending its opening hours. Not to mention the benefits of an improved police strategy, funding for anti-violence campaigns, incentives for well-run venues and encouraging more street entertainment (to help funnel out the crowds as they head home) to name a few!

 

 

Sydney used to have a thriving late night scene that could be compared to some of the best in the world. Now, walking down the previously bustling Oxford St and Kings Cross is like tip-toeing through a desert wasteland, and that's all before the 1:30am lockout even kicks in for the night. 

While the recent Callinan review provides some “compelling numbers” 

  • a 45% reduction in non-domestic assaults in Kings Cross and a 20.3% reduction in the CBD; and
  • minimal evidence of displacement of violence to surrounding areas in Sydney;

fancy reports are fantastic for picking and twisting the truth to suit those presenting them. Interestingly, the Callinan review chooses to ignore the fact that since 2012 there has been an 84% reduction in pedestrian foot traffic. Hold on to that stat for a minute. Because it means that, if anything, the amount of assaults per person has, in fact, RISEN in the area.

Uncanny isn't it, the way some politicians seem to dribble out unsubstantiated "facts" they evidently know nothing about. But the Callinan review and the unmentionable Mike. B don't appear to have taken into account the way these areas were already trending towards a decrease in violence over previous years. Walking around Newtown and neighbouring areas on a Friday or Saturday night, it's hard now not to see a direct correlation between the introduction of the lockout laws and an unprecedented number of dickheads who seem to spilled into these areas, and of course… the Casino.

 

 

While Mikey B and his cohorts claim there aren’t enough stats out there to support these claims, they are there... (this article shows an increase of about 13 assaults per month, and this one shows an 18% increase in assaults in Newtown). Newtown and Erskineville, which used to be somewhat of a vibrant safe haven for pretty much anyone, from hipsters to drag queens, has since the lockouts seen an unprecedented increase in homophobic and hateful attacks.

However, while the recent Callinan review identifies the Cross and CBD as being safer, it also recognises this has come at a cost to the “vibrancy” and profitability of businesses in the area. This is pretty clear walking the streets but also by the fact that many local businesses have been recording between a 40%-75% decrease in profits post lockout and so many venues in the area have closed or are up for sale.

 

 

There are two key stats from the review which were reported to have “spoken” for how the lockout laws DEFINITELY WORK 

  • a 25% reduction in alcohol-related and serious critical injuries at St Vincent’s Hospital; and
  • a 69% reduction in alcohol-related facial fractures requiring surgery

While no one is arguing that these stats are indeed a positive, one would have thought that alongside over an 80% decrease in pedestrian traffic in the area that the amount of alcohol-related injuries would have decreased by at least one third of that percentage. 

The trouble with much of the media's portrayal of the lockout laws, of course, is that there is no compromise. The crux of the argument seems to have become that we can either have lockouts and less violence, or do nothing and EVERYONE DIES! The point that KSO has tried to make time and time again is that we CAN have both a safe city and an amazing nightlife!

So while the lockouts overall have been reported as resulting in a decrease in violence, has it really been the 1:30am ending that's translated to this? Or is it, more likely the decrease in alcohol accessibility? If alcohol were realised to be the real problem here, why not adapt the lockout laws to match? Why not make 1:30am last drinks with a 3am lockout? 

 

 

But near all dark clouds and devastating storms, where lies the rainbow? While the KSO rally was a loud and proud protest against enacting archaic laws in a "modern" city, it was also very clearly a celebration of determination, and all that is great in Sydney culture. Thousands wore KSO t's and “Make Sydney Late Again” hats with signs reading “It's not my Baird time” and “Keep Sydney Vibrant”. Musicians, entertainers, politicians, families and kids all marched together for the same cause - our city.

On both sides of the legislation, no doubt, we all want the same thing, a safe and amazing city. There's no questioning that (unless you're Mike "The Grinch" Baird). But whatever your stance, putting half the city to bed before sunrise doesn't make a direct translation to safety. There has to be compromise, and seeing everyone take to the streets for a cause we all believe in is refreshing to see. Perhaps some further good can come out of driving people to stand up and fight for their right to a nightlife and culture. Because if they can fight for that, imagine what we will fight for next!

 

References:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-10/crime-statistician-refutes-bairds-sydney-assault-figures/7154804  

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/nsw-government-says-violence-has-risen-at-sydneys-star-casino-since-lockout-laws-introduced/news-story/231d9e2d1918cf7d14e2c871e4651e08

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/newtown-gets-busy-as-kings-cross-empties-20150619-ghseco.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-14/violence-increasing-newtown-alleged-homophobic-attack-victim/7328142

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-death-of-kings-cross-as-we-know-it-20140916-10hkkf

http://www.keepsydneyopen.com/#about

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lockout-laws-sydney-pokie-venues-gain-exemptions-20150418-1mntd4.html

HEY, YOU'RE AMAZING!

September 19, 2016

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HEY, YOU’RE AMAZING!

Depression and Mental illness are always a tough subject, but more and more campaigns across the world are joining together to to hopefully one day make sure that no single person ever feels alone, depressed and suicidal.

Last week was #RUOKDAY in Australia, a nation-wide campaign whose vision is “a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide.” For a few years now #RUOKDAY has encouraged Australians across the nation to ask their friends and family R U OK? While spreading the message and helping those in need is extremely important, other campaigns take a slightly different tactic at combating depression in the world.

While at Sasquatch Music Festival i met an amazing group of humans who, within minutes we were sharing hugs with, flying kites and watching some amazing sunsets. After a beautiful afternoon as we parted ways we were all handed a little red card from our new compadres.

Our faces instantly lit up! A card for each of us, that simply said… “Hey, You’re Amazing!” How simple was that? A card with a compliment, and no commercial branding.

We’d accrued multiple group hugs by this point, before setting a time and a place to meet our new favourite people the next day.

Hey, You’re Amazing was started by Brian Blee of Blee Creative with the simple goal of spreading positivity and light throughout the world. He and his amazing, beautiful and positive friends are fantastic ambassadors for spreading the message and we knew we instantly wanted to be a part of it.

“With the amount of negative messages we are exposed to everyday, HYA aims to remind people of their importance in the world. Using HYA cards, our community promotes loving one another and showing appreciation rather than succumbing to fear and hate.” (Hey, You’re Amazing)

Armed with a handful of cards we were ready to meet some funky new friends and spread the love. Festivals, or even a night out, are perfect places to spread the message as you get to meet such a variety of amazing people from all over the world. Everyone we gave one to instantly became a bundle of joy and it was almost impossible to pass one on without an immediate loving embrace. How amazing is that?!

 

Hey, You're Amazing GROUP HUG <3 <3 <3 

We quickly organised an order of 500 cards from Brian and Hey, You’re Amazing for the rest of our six month trip around the USA and Canada, where we made sure to spread the message wherever we could. From Park Rangers to Las Vegas janitors, to waiters and (other) weird hippies our Hey, You’re Amazing cards were always with us, at the ready, to brighten up people’s days. The best part? That joy was something they could then pass on. By giving their card to the next amazing person.

What the Festival - Rooftop Sunset Amazingness!


Hey, You’re Amazing It’s a simple message and a simple goal. And it’s just the thing that’s needed to make this world a brighter, more beautiful place. So let’s not reserve our “R U OK’s?” for just one day, or a month. Let’s instead make the choice to constantly spread positivity, and make sure that love and appreciation is felt far and wide!


Locally, there is a lot more support and campaigns than just R U OK day as well. Bronte Bloomfield recently started Mind Your Head AUS after going through her own mental health journey, including experience speaking to many inspiring individuals who have navigated their own path. Mind Your Head aims to create a space full of information from personal experience and research from others to help students navigate their own experience. By providing a range of information and alternatives this campaign aims to draw attention to the fact that mental health cannot be treated by one single treatment. There is no one medication or remedy that will work because every person and experience is different. To have long lasting effective treatment Mind Your Head promotes a mixture of many of these areas, including overlooked areas like food consumption.

To go hand in hand with this idea - there is no one Mental Health campaign that is right or wrong, or better or worse, because every individual is different and has a completely different mental health experience. One which might resonate with one person may be totally ineffective for another. That is why it is important that these campaigns are spread and promoted as much as possible, so that any individual who needs information on mental health can have as much information as possible to find out what works best for them.

Check out more from Hey, You’re Amazing (http://www.heyyoureamazing.com/) and Mind Your Head AUS (https://www.facebook.com/MindYourHeadAUS)

 

#BELIEVEINBOB

April 01, 2015

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Whether you are strongly opinionated when it comes to politics or couldn't care less if the No Parking Meters Party gets voted in, Australia's political landscape leaves ... much to be desired.

When was the last time we had a true leader? Someone who was appreciated throughout the country as an inspiration. Someone who could appear for public events without being booed and chastised! When was the last time we had someone stand in front of Australia who represented our dreams? Our hopes. Someone who could stand in front of thousands anywhere in the country and evoke an uproar in the crowd. Someone who could make people BELIEVE! BELIEVE in themselves! BELIEVE in the future!

Why should you BELIEVE in Bob?

You may think - but this Bob character, what can he do for me? What's so cool about him? So what, he makes a couple of bucket hats and now thinks he’s all that? Maybe I’ll make my own bucket hats and we’ll show him what’s what. Well to that Bob says bring it, because Bob would never stop you doing anything you BELIEVE you can do!

To BELIEVE in Bob is – not just to be led by some tyrannical bucket architect, trying to pawn his mystical wares by taking advantage of Australia’s less than average political environment, but – to BELIEVE in yourself. To BELIEVE in a brighter future! 

Sure, some people might not BELIEVE there is a Bob. Maybe he’s just a symbol, created by some corporation we've never heard of to sell bucket hats. Just another mascot trying to "improve your life." Maybe he is merely an idea, created to one day start some sort of cultural movement or a rainbow worshiping cult?

But ideas can be powerful. And so can rainbows. And Maybe... If you BELIEVE, then Bob will be more than just an idea. If not just one but hundreds, thousands of people come forward and say - I BELIEVE IN BOB - then surely that can make a difference!

Well, that's great Bob but what exactly does any of this mean?

To BELIEVE IN BOB means whatever you want it to mean. Whether that means BELIEVING that Bob is the future, that Bob will bring glory and rainbows. Or, that you are Bob, that we are all Bob, slowly moving forward and merging together to become an evangelical rainbow being that will remove anger and hatred from the world to ascend us to a vibrantly psychedelic future.

I am Bob. You are Bob. We are Bob.

#BELIEVEINBOB

Bobs Buckets has now been spreading the rainbow for almost a whole year! In this time we have made over 311 sales totalling over $12000 of glorious rainbow goodies! We have continued to develop and perfect our tie dye techniques and our awesome new logos and branding to make Bobs Buckets as awesome and colorful as possible! 

Firstly we'd love to thank all our awesome supporters from Instagram, Facebook and all over the world! We are constantly seeing awesome new people out and about in our gear at festivals, the streets, parties and wherever else helping to spread the rainbow and frankly, its awesome!

                         Above: A couple of our awesome rainbow supporters from over the year!

In 2015 we want to continue to improve our products and service as much as possible, so here just a few things we are going to be changing in the near future:

Firstly: We are going to be changing how we fulfill orders. Right now we make everything to order which means once you make an order, then we make your order and send it out. This means that when stuff gets busy it can be pretty difficult for Bob to keep up and may mean it takes longer to get your order. By having all our stock pre made we can make sure you know what’s ready to be shipped out and get your rainbows as quickly as possible. While this may lead to us being occasionally out of stock for some things it will mean we have more goods ready to go for GIVEAWAYS and PRIZES for all our amazing followers and supporters!

Secondly: We are simplifying our store! Unfortunately this means a whole bunch of items have gone; pocket shirts, socks, bags, beanies and a few others are no longer available. If you are really desperate for one you can still email us to sort something out. But by doing this, we believe we can focus on making our buckets and t shirts as amazing as possible! We will bring some of these items back in the future though, better and more colorful than before!

Next: We are switching to new suppliers for bucket hats and t shirts! For buckets this means new sizes to fit smaller heads with a new S/S size bucket (46cm) and hopefully new kids buckets within a month or two.

For t shirts this means fresh new shirts that are lighter (150 GSM), softer, and more comfortable with a better fit! Bob has tested these shirts extensively and they are guaranteed to provide more comfortable rainbow goodies whether your havin a boogie or just laying around by the pool. Plus our new t shirt supplier is W.R.A.P certified and more environmentally conscious, ensuring a sweat shop free product and ethical work conditions with minimal environmental impact.

                                    Above: Our fresh new shirts! 

Finally – Branding! We have awesome new Bobs Buckets labels and swing tags with our new logos on them which will soon be on all Bobs Buckets shirts and buckets so everyone will know what a righteous bucketeer you are!

             .Above: Our fresh new branding and swing tags!

We are excited for what is sure to be an awesome year with plenty of crazy new rainbow items and adventures!

Peace,

Bob

This is the second installment of the Bobs Buckets journey, concluding the saga of becoming a bucket architect and how Bobs Buckets became as awesome as they are today. Just to quickly recap below in an image of my inspiration bucket. That which to me was the pinnacle of tie dye bucket hats and my goal to replicate in order to attain my title of bucket architect.

 

In my bucket hat development it became clear that rainbow buckets were definitely a favourite with ocean buckets a close second. However, I found it was also ideal to have a range of colours and designs as everyone tends to have a different style or colours they love. Other bucket hats that were developed as I progressed through the ranks of bucket development included the sunburst, ninja turtle and Hawaiian bucket designs. Below you can also see one of the first rainbow buckets I developed. While it was still a great and well loved bucket, with my initial inspiration bucket in mind I wanted to perfect the rainbow bucket to be more rainbow, more spiral and more tie dye than ever before! I believed that only through doing this could one truly obtain the title of Bucket Architect.

 

Stage 3 bucket hats: Sunburst, Ninja Turtle and Rainbow tie dye bucket hats

At this point I decided that we needed to develop a logo to ensure that our buckets were identifiable as a Bobs Bucket - my dream being that one day, anytime a bucket hat is mentioned, peoples first thoughts will be – but is it a Bobs Bucket?

Basically I thought we were now legit. But I... I wanted to be too legit to quit.

So we developed our logo, printed it on our business cards and got ourselves some rad stickers to hand out as well as some patches made up to secure the brand onto our buckets.

Logo, stickers and patches

Bobs Business Cards

This brings us to now. To the final buckets of rainbow glory that have been forged. These are exactly what I wanted setting out originally. It only took 4 months to get it but here are some of my awesome final (or stage 4) rainbow buckets! With these designs I have now fully accepted my title of bucket architect and proudly wear the title like a badge of honour, identifying me as a superior bucket hat creator.

Stage 4 Rainbow Buckets

As well as having perfected the rainbow bucket there are many other designs that I have perfected along the way, including the aforementioned sunburst, ninja turtle, ocean and Hawaiian bucket hats. As both the bucket hat and tie dye continue to have a resurgence in popularity we have now made over 130 sales totalling over $3000 in the last 4 months. This is already more than I could have imagined when we started in February and sales are increasing more every week as we find awesome new products to rainbowfy.

Stage 4 Buckets - Sunburst, Ninja turtle, Ocean and Hawaiian Buckets!

Thanks everyone for your support and for reading! Bobs Buckets could never be what it is today without all you awesome people and your sharing of my love for all things colourful and tie dye. To give a little something back to you guys enter the code 15OFF at checkout to receive 15% off your order as well as free stickers and another special rainbow surprise!

Don’t forget to check out our other social media channels!

Instagram – http://instagram.com/bobsbucketsboutique

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BobsBuckets

And if you ever have any custom tie dye needs we can custom make anything, anyway you can imagine! Just email us at bobsbuckets@gmail.com

 

This will be the first of a series of blog under the tale of the Bobs Buckets journey. These will include anything from tie dye lessons, business and marketing lessons to awesome parties or events and ideas i have had or want to develop over time.

My official title as seen on my business card is Bucket Architect. Many have inquired over how i have attained such a rank or merely stood in awe at the glamor and astounding greatness of the title itself, even without the work that is produced as a result of it.I thought the best way to explain how to reach such a glorious position would be to explain the journey that has brought me to this point and how Bob and Bobs Buckets has developed over time.

In February this year I decided that I could make an awesome hat just like this (image below) one I got at a festival Bonnaroo in America. I would say this hat is probably the greatest possible souvenir from Bonnaroo as it allowed me to relive the craziness and carry a part of it round with me everywhere.

inspiration bucket travelling around the world

 On the rest of my travels it became a staple of everyday of everyday life. I mean not only is it outrageously bright, awesome and colourful! But it also keeps the sun off you, keeps your head dry, and somehow also seems to lead with weird interactions with random people you meet out. One night In Chicago I met people who drove us across the city to play giant Jenga in a bar with free popcorn, thus is the life of a Bucketeer. However, while it was a truly radical hat, whenever it got rained the hat would soak me in a delightful rainbow liquid which would soak into my skin. So I ordered 30 bucket hats and a pack of rainbow tie dye from Byron to try making my own.

My first attempt was... not quite what I wanted. They weren’t as colourful or anywhere near as paint covered as I had expected. While they looked good tied up it just wasn’t the right way to paint buckets, they were pretty patchy. So, I passed these off as tester buckets and gave them away to anyone who liked them. They helped brighten up a few people’s days at secret garden and that was good for now.

 

Stage 1 Buckets

While disappointed, people still liked them and I figured I just had to figure out a new way to paint them. I tried a few different ways of painting and it was definitely an improvement. All of these were unique painted in different ways; this was where the development of the Bucket Architect truly begun. While there is no prescribed method to develop the skills necessary to define oneself as a true bucket architect, this was where the journey began.

Stage 2 Buckets

These all sold pretty quickly, mostly at parties or events where we begun promoting with our original business cards – which were basically coloured pieces of cardboard with the Facebook page written on it. These buckets were also the end of the original 30 I ordered, so I ordered another 70 buckets and more paint.

The next stage was to come up with new ideas – leading to the sunburst buckets, ninja turtle, and rainbow buckets.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 2 as well as some awesome new products and discounts to come soon! I appreciate any feedback or questions at bobsbuckets@gmail.com and check out the Bobs Buckets Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/BobsBuckets and follow us on http://instagram.com/bobsbucketsboutique where we are currently giving away free socks and packages!

Peace out,

Bob