Live Music

Manchester venue under threat due to noise complaint

Featured image credit: John Matychuk on Unsplash

Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe is set to appear in court next month after a noise complaint, meaning its future is hanging in the balance. 

Manchester City Council issued the venue, which has hosted the likes of Wet Leg, Elbow and the Arctic Monkeys, with a noise abatement notice last year. The owners will now have to appear in court over alleged breaches of statutory noise levels.

The complaint was made by neighbours in an adjoining property which has recently been renovated for residential use.

Owner Jennifer Smithson, who is daughter of the late founder Jan Oldenburg, told the BBC that she faced an impossible task and complying with the requirements of the abatement notice would effectively ruin the business.

“It’s just so unfair. We believe that the fault lies squarely with Manchester City Council,” she added. “They could cancel the noise abatement notice and rectify the problem that they originally caused, rather than close down a business that’s been the beating heart of the Manchester music scene for decades.”

Charity Music Venue Trust (MVT), which aims to protect and support grassroots music venues, said in a statement: “The refusal by Manchester City Council to overturn the noise abatement notice issued to the iconic music venue Night & Day Cafe presents a very simple, clear, understandable and practical example for the UK’s music community.

“Either Manchester wants to be the proud home of British music or it doesn’t. With all respect to everyone in the City leadership, no amount of music boards, commissions, supportive statements, or well intentioned political positions will change the reality.”

MVT added: “Either Manchester City Council act to save Night & Day or they should just take down the billboards, switch off the marketing, drop the pretence, and prepare to close up shop on music.”

A Manchester City Council spokesperson told the BBC: “It is important to reiterate throughout this process extensive discussions have taken place to try and address the statutory noise nuisance which was the sole reason a Noise Abatement Notice (NAN) was served.

“It is also important to state that the source of complaints regarding this venue relate to very loud music played into the early hours of the morning and not live band performances.

“The council’s planning records show that an acoustic report was provided during the development of surrounding units, and the council completely rejects any suggestion that planning conditions were not met.”

The court hearing is due to take place at the end of November.