As you may or may not remember, I wrote a blog post some time back about small live music venues being under threat from closure. In this post, I urged everyone to sign a petition for Urgent Review of the Noise Abatement legislation. This petition is now closed and the Government has replied stating the following:
The law, as currently constituted, strikes the appropriate balance between managing the noise environment and considering the needs of business.
In short, they’re not willing to help keep small venues and live music alive. Frank Turner (Lead singer of Möngöl Hörde and acoustic folk singer) is not happy with this as he thrives and makes his living from live music. Frank has come up with another solution… To adopt the Agent of Change principle!There’s no easier way to describe what this entails than to use Frank’s words:
Under the Agent of Change principle, an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs. A resident who moves next door to a music venue would, in law, be assessed as having made that decision understanding that there’s going to be some music noise, and a music venue that buys a new PA would be expected to carry out tests to make sure its noise emissions don’t increase. Agent of Change says the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change.
Frank has issued an open letter to Sajid Javid MP, the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport and is gathering signatures backing his proposed solution. You can find this petition here and I would urge any body who enjoys live entertainment of any kind to read what he has to say and please add your name to the list.
Essentially, this will put the onus on whoever moves to the area, or makes changes to the noise levels to be responsible for the costs of soundproofing. At the moment, the onus is solely on the venue to soundproof any live music being played, regardless of whether new neighbours have moved in. This has already forced clubs like the 160 year old The Blind Tiger club in Brighton to close and has now hit closer to home for me.
As covered by Metal Wales, Le Pub in Newport, South Wales, faces closure due to a new residential development being built. They have been working hard to raise £10,000 for additional soundproofing in their venue to help stop the threat of closure and are currently only 11% away from reaching their target! Please donate and let live music live!
Please help and keep live music, alive.