Yarra Council To Fund Venue Sound Proofing?
In a move that will lessen tensions between live music venues and residents, Yarra Council has voted to consider a Live Music Venue Acoustic Fund in the 2014/15 budget.
This would assist live music venues to fit-out their buildings to ensure compliance with noise and other requirements.
In the past, venue operators have spent between $10,000 to $50,000 and over to sound proof their buildings to stop noise complaints from neighbours.
Alternatives such as reduced trading hours for venues have cut into the revenue for clubs, some of which are already doing it hard. The live music community is lobbying for changes in law which would force builders to double-glaze the windows of new buildings and prevent people from moving into areas where a live music venue already exists, from complaining.
The latest venue to fall foul of authorities was the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood. Yarra Council took the hotel to VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal). While Council insisted a number of residents had complained about its noise, its owner Guy Palermo told Beat it was mostly a serial complainer who moved into the area in April and began complaining a month later. Palermo, who spent $10,000 in sound proofing, was not impressed when the man moved out of the area. The VCAT hearing was averted at the last minute when two pro-live music councilors stepped in. The hearing could have cost Palermo $25,000.
Since then, Council, acoustic engineers and Victoria Police have worked together with The Bendigo to work out a solution and ensure that it continued to host live music within the guidelines.
The Live Music Venue Acoustic Fund is one of the initiatives that Council will consider for its 2014/5 budget.
These are expected to be released for community feedback in April next year.