Panel Held To Discuss Support For Live Music Venues

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After the closure of live music venues Freebutt and Blind Tiger, a special panel was held in Brighton last week to hear how “noise complaints and excessive licensing conditions are making it harder for live music venues to keep afloat by creating expensive hurdles to leap” Brighton and Hove news reports. The panel, consisting of Counsellors Joe Miller, Lizzie Deane and Peter Atkinson, heard from promoters, bands and venue managers as well as the noise nuisance, planning and licensing team.

Deaf Havana at Concorde 2 - image by kiera_paige
Deaf Havana at Concorde 2 – image by kiera_paige

However, the council have stressed that, due to national law, noise complaints must be investigated and action taken, if they deem it appropriate. Mark Stack, a promoter, launched a petition calling for protection of music venues said “There’s a certain amount of PR going on and venues are being painted as the bad guys…bands are now wary of how loud they’re playing” The panel heard how Brewdog, a live music venue in Brighton, bought the flats above the venue in order to avoid noise complaints. Whilst this has worked for them, there are many live music venues who simply do not have the money to do something similar. Steven Ansell from Blood Red Shoes, a Brighton based band said “All the bands which play and blow your mind- that happens in small venues. There are venues which don’t want you to play because you’ll have to be too quiet”

Skinny Girl Diet at The Haunt - image by craigboney
Skinny Girl Diet at The Haunt – image by craigboney

Various options to support venues were discussed including a focus group, a night mayor and advice surgeries. Lizzie Deane said, however, that “There’s a sense that if the residents weren’t there it would all be fine, but from the residents’ point of view it’s very different.” The closure of live music venues is happening across the UK and music fans have had to say goodbye to some iconic venues, while the future of other incredible venues hangs in the balance. Small venues are vital to our local music scene and it would be devastating to see more of our much loved local music venues face closure. Do you think our council should be doing more to support live music venues?



Holly Martin

feature image: digboston via the Creative Commons license

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