Live music doomed again?

johnboy 2 February 2009 8

The Canberra Times is running what feels like the annual doom and gloom piece declaring the death of live music due to urban infill.

It’s a story that needs to be approached with some caution. Some of the doom is things that haven’t actually happened. And some of the gloom is for things like the end of live music at the Wig and Pen which occurred many years ago. Then there’s All Bar Nun mentioned which is hardly a city centre venue, more the epitome of leafy suburbs.

Does anyone care if sequencer cover duos have the same restrictions on them as your basic disc spinning DJ? By which I mean that many a bar owner will moan and groan about noise restrictions, under the guise of protecting live original music, while having no intention of doing anything more than banging out a dance floor megamix at 4am.

My gut feeling is that urban infill is actually creating the conditions for good live music venues, and the live music scene in Canberra is actually stronger now than it was when RiotACT kicked off eight years ago.

Having said that, a bit more protection for the right to make noise before midnight in the inner city would not go astray.


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8 Responses to Live music doomed again?
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Instant Mash Instant Mash 12:16 am 03 Feb 09

Oh, and the owner happens to have been a family friend of mine for the past 15 years or so.

Instant Mash Instant Mash 12:15 am 03 Feb 09

Felix the Cat said :

It all comes down to money. Developers/builders put more money in the pocket of ACT Govt than nightclub/pub owners.

The owner of The Lighthouse (formerly Sails) in Belconnen is upset because of all the new houses/flats springing up near his pub and he fears complaints from residents will force the cancellation of Sunday afternoon outdoor live music in the beer garden, or worse, cancellation of his business due to lack of patronage. I have no connection with Lighthouse and I don’t live in Belconnen.

I can definitely understand his point. With all these residential areas springing up around there, it’s not gonne be long before people crack tantrums due to the noise. The Lighthouse is a popular place though, he need not worry about the lack of patronage.

Pandy Pandy 9:47 pm 02 Feb 09

Felix, I do live there and i am very well aware of the lighthouse problems and no i have no connections to them.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 9:39 pm 02 Feb 09

It all comes down to money. Developers/builders put more money in the pocket of ACT Govt than nightclub/pub owners.

The owner of The Lighthouse (formerly Sails) in Belconnen is upset because of all the new houses/flats springing up near his pub and he fears complaints from residents will force the cancellation of Sunday afternoon outdoor live music in the beer garden, or worse, cancellation of his business due to lack of patronage. I have no connection with Lighthouse and I don’t live in Belconnen.

Pandy Pandy 7:49 pm 02 Feb 09

Members of the legislative assembly: Any reason why the laws that NSW brought in a few years ago, stopping complaints from residents of urban infill of noise coming from nearby existing pubs, cannot be brought here to the ACT?

54-11 54-11 10:50 am 02 Feb 09

That’s right, aussielyn – existing land users have no pre-existing rights to continue doing what was previously OK, and thst new owners were fully aware of when they moved in.

There needs to be some rights for existing owners enshrined in the Territory Plan, and when there are potential conflicts, then the onus should be on the developer to reduce that as much as practicable.

As you say, sound-proofing (which also has the added benefit of thermal insulation) needs to be increased, and site development should take into account the presence of pubs, clubs etc.

Quite simple, really.

aussielyn aussielyn 10:28 am 02 Feb 09

The dilemma is residents’ rights to peace and quiet i.e. sleep Vs live music & public entertainment. I remember so many pub rock venues closed as Balmain in Sydney got gentrified in the 1970s. This was not building flats with little noise or vibration abatement, it was new people moving into an area and changing it.
Decibel meters are not cheap and more barriers will add to costs of providing live music venues. The Territory Plan has no provision for new developments providing sound insulation. Medium & high density is encouraged in local & group centres.
The music will lose out as the ACT treasury gets more money from rates.

asher asher 9:17 am 02 Feb 09

Yes, I’m sad about Toast, and sad about the Gypsy Bar – even though I never got to see it open. Live music + late = good.

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