Council urged to tone down stance on music events

April 13, 2017

Council urged to tone down stance on music events

The King's Arms Tavern had a live show recently shut down because of a noise control complaint. Photo: Hele Ikimotu

Auckland’s music community is calling for looser laws around noise control in the inner city.

Following the shutdown of American metal band Windhand’s live concert at the King’s Arms Tavern in Eden Terrace a couple of days ago – concerns were raised about how noise control laws affected the live music scene in Auckland.

The Auckland Music Collective, a group aiming to preserve Auckland’s live music scene, started a petition earlier this month stressing steps needed to be taken so entertainment venues were protected from noise control complaints during live performances.

Sarah Kidd, a member of the group, said the council had a responsibility to look into the issue.

“With the increased gentrification of the inner city, housing and all the apartment blocks that are going up – we’re seeing a push against smaller live music venues,” she said.

Miss Kidd said it was unfair for smaller venues to be shut down due to complaints by local residents.

“I’m sure there was a lot of people around Mt Smart stadium that probably didn’t like Adele playing for three nights – if they rang noise control, they probably would’ve been laughed at.”

Miss Kidd added: “We just want council to be able to sit down with us and discuss the issue. What we’re looking for is a simple compromise that’s not going to cost anyone great amounts of money.”

The petition has gained more than 2200 signatures.

Supporter Kieren Day commented on the petition: “As a performing artist myself, I refuse to have my livelihood trampled over by residents who decide to live in an area that is home to entertainment and then complain about the noise factor when they chose to live there.”

Auckland Council’s principal specialist for environmental health, Daniel Winter, said in a statement to Te Waha Nui that noise control officers assessed noise on volume, time and tone.

Based on the criteria, noise officers assign a score to the noise - a warning may also be given by the officer if noise is considered excessive.

Mr Winter said many complaints were made in regards to music events, however noise rules for temporary live music events were more relaxed.

“For regular music events at bars and nightclubs, the controls are slightly tighter,” he said.

“It can be difficult for live bands to comply with the noise standard limits unless robust noise mitigation measures have been implemented.”

The Auckland Music Collective hopes the council will take proper action regarding the issue – the petition can be found here.

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