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Live music venues threatened by new laws and noise complaints

Live music venues threatened by new laws and noise complaints
March 26, 2014

New licensing laws in Sydney and noise complaints in Melbourne are threatening the once vibrant live music scene in both cities.

New NSW legislation, prompted by high profile late-night assaults, now requires many Sydney venues to close their doors at 1.30am and to stop serving alcohol at 3am.

The changes have prompted both night club owners and performers to say that that the new regulations are hurting their businesses more than it will prevent alcohol-related lawlessness.

Late night rock and electronic dance music clubs are thought to be particularly hard hit, with the Music Times reporting on campaigns by that organisations such as Save Our Nightlife and Keep Sydney Open.

Meanwhile, long-established live music venues across inner Melbourne are being affected by noise complaints from new residential neighbours in gentrified inner-city suburbs

As a result, live music promoters in Melbourne have warned live music venues will close down unless more is done to protect venues from noise complaints.

At the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood noise complaints from nearby residents nearly resulted in its closure late last year, before a compromise with Yarra City Council led to the venue installing noise proofing.

However, Guy Palermo who runs the Bendigo Hotel, a hub for the city's punk and hardcore scene, fears many venues might not be able to afford the cost of soundproofing.

He told local media that the venue had operated for years without any major issues, explaining "I don't think that one resident should be able to justify all that expense and the angst for any venue owner."

Melbourne University urban planning researcher Dr Kate Nash added that the Bendigo Hotel is not the only venue dealing with complaints, stating "it's a big issue, the population of Melbourne is growing rapidly and so is the number of complaints against music venues."

Dr Nash helped develop a live music action plan aimed at reviving Sydney's music scene.

The plan recommends building code changes, a review of the way offensive noise is defined and setting up a mediation process between venues and disgruntled residents.

Dr Nash fears that in the current climate, Melbourne's live music scene will suffer.

24th November 2013 - ADELAIDE MUSIC REPORT CALLS FOR EDUCATION AND AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT


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