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The Noise Issue

Written By Andy Gunton

Noise is a very emotive subject. On the one hand, nobody wants to be subjected to a barrage of noise, whatever the source. On the other, the world has become a noisier place, so we must all expect to get our fair share of it. The problem comes when those two sides of the argument collide.

That collision is taking place across the UK, in many forms and in many places. None more so than when it comes to the contentious issue of ‘noise’ emanating from live music venues. 

Venues around the country are being threatened with closure, or as in the recent case of The Blind Tiger Club in Brighton actually closing down, due to ongoing problems with current legislation and the complaints of, quite often, just one neighbour.

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But, the issue has come closer to home with the serving of a “Review of premises licence” on The Union Bar, in Hastings. This could result in the closure of a venue that The Stinger feels is so important to the local music scene that we featured it in our first issue.

This is nothing new, as those who frequent The Carlisle and Marina Fountain will tell you. Other local venues are facing similar problems.

This is not a stick with which to bash our local authority. After all, under current legislation they have a duty to respond and act on complaints from neighbours of music venues. Maybe they could act with more consideration towards the venues, but until the law of the land is changed, that may be wishful thinking.

We were intending to feature local noise problems in this issue anyway. But recent events have persuaded us to extend that coverage, as we feel this is a hugely important issue for the future of the local music scene. A scene that brings in, via the many music events taking place in Hastings over the year, countless thousands of tourists, employs local people and generates untold amounts of money for the local economy.

In the following pages you can read articles by Charlotte Bishop, about local noise issues, and the Music Venue Trust, about a national campaign they are running to persuade the Government to change current legislation. 

Your local, and national, music scene needs you. “Live music venues are a vibrant pumping heart for any community. The recent surge of venues under threat across the UK is of grave concern to the MU. It is unfair that residents who live close to a long established music venue, and property developers with an eye on a profit, have a relatively easy means to bring about the demise of a venue. Without local venues, where are the opportunities for new acts to become the headliners of the future. We support live music and venues giving established artists, and local bands, a platform to perform. Keep Music Live” Dave Webster – National Organiser Live Performance for Musicians’ Union.

Please get involved, sign the petitions and help the campaigns in any way you can.

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