The possible closure of one of Manchester Northern Quarter’s most iconic music venues highlights the ‘inevitable tension’ between late night haunts and city centre dwellers, a councillor claims.
Councillor Kevin Peel is calling for a balance between residents and nightlife organisers who offer live music throughout the week.
The councillor’s comments are a response to a petition set up by the Night and Day Café that has collected a whopping 57,000 signatures calling for Manchester City Council to remove the statutory noise abatement notice they were handed.
Famous names such as Jonny Marr, Frank Turner and Liam Fray have given their approval to the campaign which questions whether a single resident should expect low volumes when living next door to a live music hub.
Cllr Peel, who lives in the Northern Quarter and admits he attends gigs at the threatened venue, argued that choosing to live in an area known for thriving bars does not mean a person should be subject to excessive noise.
He said: “I moved here knowing I would not get the peace and tranquility I might expect in the leafy shires, but that does not mean I should expect unacceptable noise and disruption from my neighbours any more than I would if I lived anywhere else.
“As more people move into the city centre there will inevitably be tensions with new and existing pubs, bars, clubs, music venues and other premises.”
The Labour and Co-Operative Councillor said that he hopes an agreement can be reached by the parties tangled in the dispute and played up the council’s history of diffusing such conflicts.
“We have a long history of working with residents and licensed premises to defuse conflict and resolve issues collaboratively to the satisfaction of all parties and we encourage all venues – and residents – to get to know their neighbours and raise any issues as they arise so that a swift solution can be found,” he said.
“Where this does not happen the city council must act. However it is always a last resort to take enforcement action, unless venue operators are not acting responsibly or willing to engage.
“In this instance communications were not sufficient between the operator, the residents and the council. I’m pleased to see this has now improved and hope an agreement can be reached which will satisfy all parties without the need for any adverse affect on either the venue or its neighbours.”
However, music promoters and gig-goers alike are still fiercely rubbishing claims that nightlife hotspots should compromise with their neighbours.
Darran Carter, who has been promoting club nights in Manchester for nine years, has hit back at Cllr Peel’s request for a negotiation.
The 32-year-old said: “If you want to live in the big bad city then deal with it! Failing that, move to Chorlton.”
Mr Carter, whose club night Revolver has been running for almost a decade, said that it was unfair to expect venue owners to meet the demands of residents who opted to live in the heart of a commercial neighbourhood.
He said: “Most venues I have used over the years have serious noise complaints, to the point where the club owners are spending thousands of pounds of noise proofing their venues and the person’s apartment, which I believe is unjust!”
The promoter, who once regularly work with Northern Quarter favourite – the Roadhouse – explained his opinion represents the masses who lent their names to the petition.
He said: “I suspect my view is the same as any other sane person in the city.”
Night and Day Café has been running for over 23 years and has become a staple of the Oldham Street community.
On Wednesday they received the notice which sparked an angry backlash on social media as thousands debated the rights of nearby residents.
One Twitter user, Jo Garland, said: “Being a city centre resident there’s noise outside all week, it comes with the location, if I didn’t like it I would move house.”
The council will today be meeting with the Night and Day team in an attempt to secure a resolution.
Picture courtesy of Man Alive!, with thanks.