Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Bar, is currently raising funds to address the possible threat of closure from noise complaints, with an elaborate and expensive sound-proofing procedure.
The closing of Sydney’s iconic Annandale Hotel due to noise complaints, has put into the spotlight the threat facing many music venues from large-scale residential developments, encroaching the space previously used to buffer noise leakage.
The Cherry Bar, which sits on AC/DC Lane, (named after the Australian band) is preempting closure by addressing noise leakage and the barrage of complaints expected from the residents of a brand new 12-storey, 189-apartment residential development which now towers over the venue, with north-facing balconies directly overhead.
“We’re expecting to have trouble with our neighbours, the new residents and also the restaurant [at the end of AC/DC Lane],” says James Young, owner of the bar.
“There are about 189 apartments with north-facing balconies. And the strange thing about the way the EPA measures noise pollution is they measure it based on your proximity to noise, so from outside the windows. It doesn’t even matter if they double glaze. When they get up there with their measurements … we will be in breach – even though we haven’t been and we’ve never had a complaint.”
The venue has already paid a small fortune to investigate the much-needed sound attenuation work which will make it compliant, however, its owner Young, doesn’t have all of the funds needed to complete the project.
Young turned to PledgeMusic to crowd-fund a portion of the money needed to install a brick wall behind the stage area, double-glazing of all windows and the creation of a two-door soundproof bubble entrance to Cherry Bar (you can see the project here).
Victoria’s live music sector advocacy group, SLAM have called out Melbourne’s Planning Minister Matthew Guy for his failure to implement laws that ensure protection to venues, the group’s spokesperson Helen Marcou saying that “The government has delivered nothing. Some venues which have peacefully operated for years are rendered non-compliant under noise regulations because of encroaching development. I think the wider community understands this is manifestly unfair” (source).
Guy responded in politic-speak by saying his department have been working with Liquor & Gaming Minister Edward O’Donohue and are “working on reforms that will respond to challenges the industry is facing and ensure important issues such as housing affordability and building standards are responsibly addressed.”
Going further he stated “we have an appropriate process in place through which we are working with groups such as Music Victoria and SLAM to reach this outcome shortly.”
Yea, we’re not going to hold our breath on that!
You can watch Cherry Bar owner James Young, in his PledgeMusic video below: