Sydney’s newest precinct YCK is flexing its collective muscle with the launch of the YCK Laneways Block Party, a six-week cultural celebration of Sydney’s creative community centred around 10 of the city’s small bars.

The idea to establish the YCK Precinct across York, Clarence and Kent Streets is something the bars owners of the area have been discussing for many years, and Karl Schlothauer, CEO of House of Pocket, representative for YCK and President of the Independent Bars Association told The Shout “there’s nothing quite like a global pandemic and the generous support of the City of Sydney Council to light a fire under these ideas”.

He added that the idea around the Laneways Block Party is to be “centred around our culture and really support the creative artists who have found it so tough through COVID. We’ve got 75 events across 10 bars with more than 100 artists taking part until May 22 and early indications [of the public’s response] are looking good in terms of ticket sales.

“We’ve now got the infrastructure in place for people to talk about going out and enjoying the culture in YCK, they can say ‘I’m going to The Rocks’ or ‘I’m going to Chinatown’ and now people will be saying ‘I’m going to YCK’ and it’s about more than just the small bars.”

Schlothauer’s Stitch Bar is one of 10 taking part in the six-week block party, the other venues include Since I Left You, Papa Gede’s, The Lobo, Spawn Point, The Barber Shop, The Duke of Clarence, Uncle Mings, Prince of York and Grandma’s Bar.

The event program features dynamic line-up spanning dance, theatre, interactive art, live music and storytelling. Event highlights include Drag Queen Bingo, Light Artwork Installations, Fire Dancing, Live Music, DJ performances, Disco Nights, Burlesque Shows, Wheelie Bin Art, Historical Storytelling, Pop Culture Trivia Nights and more.

Featuring a range of free and ticketed one-off and weekly events, there is something for everybody, no matter what your appetite. Walk-ins are accepted, but numbers for select events will be limited so bookings are strongly recommended.

Schlothauer added: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see small hospitality operators come together and create big things in celebration of the arts, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.

“Through this collaboration, YCK seeks to establish its own precinct that celebrates Sydney’s small bar scene, much like the districts and quarters found in international capital cities of the world.”

YCK had been made possible through the support from the City of Sydney, and Platinum Sponsors Patrón Tequila and Bombay Sapphire.

All events will follow COVID-safe regulations and guests are reminded to follow NSW Government advice to ensure social distancing and general hygiene is adhered to, as well as staying home if unwell.

To learn more about YCK Laneways Block Party, or for the full program of events, please visit:

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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