Thursday, 25 February 2010

Does peace and quiet always take priority over loud music?

Well, that depends. If a rig has moved into your front garden and decided to blast several hundred kilowatts of rave then you might have a case, but as recent news stories show (and our from own experience in Scotland, especially Edinburgh) it tends to be the other way around. The slow destruction of night-time venues has invariably come about for a number of reasons, but the phenomenon of housing developers building around long-standing venues adds further fuel to the 'noise abatement' fire.

Is space running out that quickly? When office blocks and flats lay empty, is there ever a 'good' excuse to build next to a venue whose livelihood depends on music and the freedom to play it at volume marginally louder than a mouse fart? You certainly can't blast the tunes at home in case the police come a'knocking, and you can't just set up a rig on open land without vans and dogs soon making an appearance* - is it a travesty to maintain a building specifically designed for the playing and celebration of music?

Take a look at Studio 24 in the East end of Edinburgh - a before shot.

An old converted cinema located next to scrubland, disused buildings, and a graveyard - now check out this handy google map, which shows the developments built literally onto the side of the venue (which, incidentally - or is that deliberately - has been offered fistfuls of cash to sell up for the past 10 years).

And yet, further up the road lies the long-dead Venue, now a glass and laser-show construction, next to even more scrubland. The art of building beside music venues has spread through the planning committees as guaranteed cheap ways to plot out your stretches of monotous housing like a crazed Monopoly player. And then you don't even have to buy them out, just flush 'em out with court orders and sound limiters fixed to mixers.

The deceased Venue

Read the original article this rant was brought to you by, right here:

* Hell, I almost got arrested for having a bbq after some nosy bastards phoned the police claiming we were trying to set fire to the forest 50m away, with a disposable tray and 8 burgers.

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