The owners of a Sydney pub have come up with an ingenious solution to get around rigorous Australian Covid-19lockdown rules.
The state of New South Wales has outlawed singing and dancing in hospitality venues in order to slow the spread of the virus. But churches are exempt from the restrictions, to allow congregations to belt out the occasional hymn.
NSW’s Hillsong church is currently running a "annual high school aged youth camp" at Glenrock State Conservation Park which witnesses describe as resembling a music festival.
The event offers live music and DJs playing along with "a lot of people” in the audience.
Local Danyon Clinton told Nine News that the youth camp “looks like any sort of event you'd have in a public place or a music festival sort of thing".
The state’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the event was "clearly in breach of both the spirit and intent of the Order, which is in place to help keep the community safe”
A Hillsong spokesperson responded:”These events are our annual high school aged youth camps, and are not similar to a music festival in any way”.
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But local entertainment venues have reacted in their own way to the church’s bending of the rules.
The Lord Gladstone pub in nearby Chippendale has rebranded itself as a church to get around the restrictions. It’s temporarily renamed itself as The Gladsong Hotel and is hosting a one-day "Sunday service" event on January 23.
A post on the pub’s official Facebook page read: "Singing and dancing banned at indoor venues, except for church gatherings? Introducing the Gladsong Hotel – Sydney's newest and most poppin' religious institution!"
They playfully added: "Ready for you to come confess your sins and be bathed in its holiest of water (Gladdy Lager on tap).”
A disclaimer added "All COVID restrictions will be followed currently in place on our venue.
"It will still be heaps of fun though and we can all drink schooners and laugh and be merry in the face of hypocrisy. The Gladsong loves a p***take."
This isn’t the pub’s first Covid-inspired rebrand. In August the boozer became “The Lord Jabstone” and offered a free beer to anyone over the age of 18 who had received their first vaccination.
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