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Manchester risks losing ‘vital organ’ in Night & Day cafe, says Guy Garvey | Manchester

Manchester risks losing a “vital organ of culture” if its famous Night & Day cafe is forced to close over noise complaints, Elbow singer Guy Garvey said.

The 30-year-old venue faces a crucial court hearing this month after being issued a noise restriction notice by Manchester City Council.

Night & Day, which hosted early gigs from bands like Elbow, Arctic Monkeys and Wet Leg, has said so can be forced to close following a complaint from a resident who had moved into the area during the lull of the Covid lockdown.

The case has sparked a debate about the future of music venues in cities that are increasingly populated but are marketing themselves as vibrant and exciting places to live.

Garvey, whose band received their first two contracts after performing at the venue, said: “Manchester’s young musicians, like everywhere else, have had a terrible time in recent years. And to take away one of these platforms – these vital organs of culture – because of development…”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday, Garvey said Manchester’s Oldham street area was only a desirable place to live because Night & Day opened in 1991 “when it was dirty and dangerous”.

He added: “To take it away so it becomes a nicer place to live, says Oldham Street is only for people who can afford to live there.”

Guy Garvey at the Night & Day cafe in 2004.
Guy Garvey at the Night & Day cafe in 2004. Photo: David Levene/de Voogd

Just yards from Night & Day, a three-bedroom apartment is for sale for over £440,000 – double the average property price for North West England. Several other luxury apartments are advertised on the same street for around £300,000, well beyond the reach of the average Mancunian.

Night & Day will appeal the noise abatement notice in Manchester on November 30. If it loses, the council would have the power to confiscate and confiscate equipment or seek a court order.

Manchester City Council said: “It should be made explicitly clear from the outset that the council has never threatened to close this venue, nor is there any legislation that would allow the use of a noise abatement notice to close a building. “

Garvey accused the council of failing to ensure the flats were properly soundproofed – a claim the council has refuted. The council maintains that all planning regulations were met when it approved the development in early 2000.

A spokesperson for the council said it had received five noise complaints from four properties since July 2021, and that the noise restriction notice only affected after-hours DJ sets, not live bands before midnight.

But the venue has said these music nights are essential to the business because people don’t pay much to see live bands.

Garvey said: “The last two times this has happened, they’ve come to a compromise with the Night & Day, taking measures to soundproof the venue – they’ve put in a porch and several other things.

“Long story short, it’s a mess on the part of the council that they keep trying to fix.”

A spokesperson for the council said it had completed an initial acoustics report for the apartments and there was a recommendation for a second report – but this was the responsibility of the developer as it was building codes, not planning regulations.

He added: “The council has been and will continue to support the Manchester music scene, which Night & Day has championed, but we must fulfill our duties in relation to the legal nuisance.”

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