Live band in bar

Live music under threat in Poole

It is Friday night and Poole’s Quay is strangely quiet as just a handful of patrons chat among themselves in their local pub. This could become a common sight in Poole after noise complaints threaten to stop live music once and for all.

Barmaid Sarah told me why it was so quiet. “We used to have bands playing and we’d get a lot more people in,” she said, “Now they just go elsewhere.”

She admitted that the pub received a number of noise complaints from local residents and had just given up booking bands as it was “too much hassle”.

The owners of the King Charles Head and the Angel Inn pubs gave similar stories of noise complaints, although many said they would not be stopped from having live performers as long as they kept to the Live Music Act guidelines.

“I want to be in bed by 10pm not kept up all night by some music. Why should I suffer just so they can get drunk? I don’t mind them all going to Bournemouth, just not here.” – Charlotte Green

A number of pubs had been taking advantage of the act which came into effect in 2012. It meant that pubs no longer required a special license to have live music up till 11pm, cutting through a lot of red tape and making it easier to book acts.

However, it would appear that 11pm is too late for some residents. Charlotte Green, 74, who lives just off the Quay said, “I want to be in bed by 10pm not kept up all night by some music. Why should I suffer just so they can get drunk? I don’t mind them all going to Bournemouth, just not here.”

While the quieter nights might end up being bliss for local residents, it is a worry for the large number of restaurants and takeaways who require the foot traffic of pub and club-goers to make a profit.

Tai Waishum, who has run the Quay Side takeaway in Old Town since 2007, said, “The closure of the clubs like Dundees in recent years have really affected the businesses, people move into the flats above clubs and then complain about the noise.”

Dundees sports bar has remained empty since it shut its doors in 2012.

 

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