Next month, the Manchester venue Night & Day will appear in court on a noise complaint, because of which it may be closed.
Last year, the small hall was threatened by a noise complaint from a new resident who moved to Manchester during quarantine. This happened after the institution won an uphill battle with a separate noise complaint in 2014.
According to a new press statement, the venue is in danger again due to a renovation plan for a nearby building.
The statement said: “As a critical new development of the story and after receiving a copy of the redevelopment planning file of the building next door where the applicant lived, the owners of Night & Day were shocked to find that an important acoustic report was not provided and acoustic work was not completed before it was inhabited.
“It was a condition of consent for the conversion of a neighboring building so that residents would not be disturbed by noise from previously existing businesses in the area.”
As a result, Night & Day will appear in court from November 29 to December 1. Fans are invited to sign a petition here to help save the venue and use the hashtag #savenightandday.
Speaking about the new developments, Manchester-born and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey said: “It’s a shameful shame and we’re furious. The music and art of Manchester is something we all share and are rightfully proud of. The council and its politicians, its football teams and its universities use our music for proud promotion.
“Night & Day” brought hundreds of Manchester artists from bedrooms and garages to the world stage. The bright scene started by Night & Day has caused a massive renovation in what we now call the Northern Quarter, and the implementation of all this is a constant act of balancing the accounts. The fact that this cornerstone of our city’s culture is being attacked again is puzzling.”
The owner of the facility Jennifer Smithson added: “We were one of the founders in the development of the Northern Quarter, people wanted to move here because of the vibrant, interesting places like Night & Day, which are great and have really improved the area.
“What is particularly outrageous is that the planning department knew about the possible noise from the “Night and Day” when it agreed to rebuild the warehouse next door into residential apartments. It took a separate acoustic report to determine what could be done to prevent the noise from Night & Day from affecting the residents of the building. However, the developer did not prepare a separate acoustic report, and the planning department allowed the building to be occupied without appropriate sound insulation work.
Smithson added: “We must now either accept the noise reduction notice, which would put us at risk of immediate prosecution in the event of noise complaints, or go to court with significant costs to appeal it. This could mean the end of Night & Day forever. It’s a nightmare.”
“It’s so unfair. We believe the blame lies entirely with Manchester City Council. They could cancel the noise reduction notice and fix the problem they initially caused, instead of shutting down the business that has been the heart of the Manchester music scene for decades.”
Elsewhere in Garvey’s statement, he said Manchester City Council “must immediately drop this charge and take this family business out from under the swinging anvil of closure forever.
“Many believe that the stress in this situation may have accelerated the early death of our friend Jan, and the fact that his daughter’s family is experiencing the same stress for the second time due to the council’s inability to tinker and kick cans is inexcusable.”
He added: “Message to the council: drop it and focus on making sure this is the last time this happens at any music venue in our city. Addressing all other interested parties, I cannot but emphasize that the anger directed at the applicants is directed at the wrong address. This is the council’s problem. Please direct your energy to support the campaign to save the “Night and Day” and, in due course, the national legislation, so that this does not happen to any historical place that has received the nickname “Jan’s Law”.
At the time of the noise complaint in 2021, the institution’s petition had received tens of thousands of signatures and support from people such as Johnny Marr, New Order, Courteeners, Frank Turner and Mogwai, as well as a network of mass music venues in the UK.
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, who was instrumental in saving Manchester’s Gorilla and Deaf Institute during the pandemic, told NME why it was important to fight back against this complaint.
“Music venues are essential for our night economy and for the development of artists who will then tour the world and sell millions of records — they are vital for our cities,” Burgess told NME. “Years and even decades after they opened, people walk around and complain about the noise. We need to sort out this stupid situation. And this applies not only to music venues — music stores face the same problem.
“The joke is that these downtown residents often brag to their friends about the culture that surrounds them. We need to support our concert venues, not threaten them with closure.”