It happens all too often… people move in near an established music venue, and then start complaining about the noise. Sadly, this can lead to the loss of music from the venue, or even closure of the venue.
For many people, having late-night music venues around them increases the amenity of the area – they live there because there are places nearby they can listen to music, and they enjoy hearing music from home. Noise complaints come under ‘amenity’ in our regulations – apart from anything else, we could ask: who judges amenity?
Fair Go 4 Live Music started campaigning to keep music in areas being gentrified in 2003, and made some progress, but since lots of people have come together to support live music during 2010, this campaign has had a real boost.
The ‘agent of change’
Music representatives, including FG4LM, wish for a strong and workable implementation of the ‘agent of change’ principle in regulations governing places where live music is played.
This principle is the idea that the party who changes the status quo, that is, they are the agent of the change, is the one responsible for dealing with any problems that arise.
For example, if developers build units next to an existing music venue, they are responsible for sound proofing them, rather than the venue having to do anything.
Pages on this website:
Please explore the following pages to read more about the noise complaints campaign:
Examples – examples of noise complaints
Campaign – about the campaign to support live music in the face of noise complaints
Agent Of Change – progress on the issue
Live Music Taskforce 2003 – Live Music Taskforce, Report and Recommendations, 2003. Mentions ‘agent of change’ 12 times.
EPA Victoria – Victoria’s ‘Control of Music Noise from Public Places’ policy
And for a great description of the problem, read this article…
Pub rock or whine bar?
This article by Christopher Holder was published in AudioTechnology Magazine back in 2003 (issue 27).
The fact that urban metropolitan councils have been receiving complaints from residents about excessive noise from live sound venues has generated a good number of column inches in the press of late. A lot’s been said and not all of it has been helpful. So, this issue, I thought I’d take the time to throw light, not heat, on the topic.
So I should apologise in advance to our professional 30-something readers who prudently maintain a dual-income relationship with another 30-something professional. This editorial’s intention is by no means to alienate you – after all, if you don’t walk in another man’s Armani suit then you can’t begin to empathise with his motivations and passions for life. Let me say from the outset, that I don’t begrudge you your unencumbered, Bang & Olufsen lifestyle; your ‘modern Australian’ wood-fired, semi-dried, bugger-it-why-don’t-we-eat-out groceries; your Ducati/jet-ski take-a-cab-to-work transportation; or even your CK-DKNY-FCUK-Clinique-for Men body image. No, doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
Where I start to get just a little bit shirty is ‘round about the time you move your negatively-geared, hot-waxed butt into a nouveau/retro faux modern loft conversion, which shouts ‘Location Location Location’… sold by some trumped-up wet-behind-the-ears 13-year-old real estate ‘agent’ brandishing a glossy brochure with his face plastered all over it along with a picture of an impossibly good looking couple sipping their skinny-soy double-decaf macchiatos, taken at a 45-degree angle through two panes of plate glass reflecting some generic pseudo-funky urban cityscape.
Why should I begrudge you your open plan warehouse with ‘European appliances’ and Space furniture? Actually I’m being a little unfair. I think it’s fabulous. One thing’s for sure, the woman made redundant after 35 years of loading bobbins into a Pelaco shirt-making machine certainly doesn’t need the space any more. So… urban regeneration? Couldn’t be more enthusiastic.
To be a little more specific, where I get a bit hot under my made-in-Fiji-because-you’re-living-in-the-bloody-factory collar, is when your ironic choice of downmarket I-spent-45-minutes-getting-my-hair-to-look-this-ruffled lifestyle, plants you within MX5-autodisabling distance of a pub that supports live music.
Let me paint a picture and humbly point out a paradox for you. There you are at home on your ‘work hard, play hard’ Saturday night, entertaining your old-school-tie mates with more barrels in their surnames than Oktoberfest; you’re snorting Chablis and sushi out your nose thanks to the ‘hilarity’ of your Presbyterian-lady-groping, school-formal tales of derring-do; all the while tapping your Aquila-shod toes to the self-consciously nostalgic tones of your Best of ‘80s INXS/Men at Work/Midnight Oil CD compilation. Then, as welcome as a fart in a solarium, that “bloody pub” is “at it again” – the subsonic thump and drone of “some wannabe low-life band” has rocked the very foundations of, well… the profiterole tower you picked up from Acland St.
But do you see the paradox? That ‘best of times, worst of times’ ‘80s compilation you cherish would not have been possible without that ‘bloody pub’. The reason for Australia having its own musical identity and not simply producing ‘51st State’ anodyne crud is because of the totally unique apprenticeship offered by the Australian pub/club circuit. Yes, a most ingenious paradox – even more paradoxical than owning a $6,000 suit you only wear twice a year.
So, here’s my tip: call in a few more favours from your ‘old man’ and cash in some of that ‘managed unit equity trust annuity fund’ (or whatever it is that you’re stashing away to retire at 40 and be even more of a waste of oxygen) and move out to a proper house on a quarter acre block, with a Hills hoist and a neighbour that mows his lawn on Sunday; or, just shut up and leave the (already endangered) future of Australian rock music alone. Yes thanks, I do feel better now.