MU continue campaigning for music venue protection
One of Edinburgh’s best-known alternative music venues, Studio 24, has closed its doors after 25 years. The closure is due to on-going disputes with neighbours and licensing standard officers since the development of residential flats next to the live music venue. “Citing renewed complaints from neighbouring residents over noise levels and the prospect of facing future license hearings, the owners of Calton Road’s Studio 24 revealed they have finally had enough and will be closing the venue next month,” reports Edinburgh News.
The venue took to Facebook to break the news to customers, posting the following:
“For years we’ve fought the good fight, giving a place for lovers of underground music somewhere where they feel safe in a friendly environment surrounded by staff who genuinely care about the music playing, the atmosphere and making sure the customers feel the same love.
“We’re gutted we’ve had to come to this decision, but with years of investing thousands upon thousands in sound-proofing and legal fees in order to stay open, alongside complaining neighbours and harsh council-enforced sound restrictions, we feel these problems won’t leave us, with more complaints recently received and no real support from licensing standards officers, therefore threatening our ability to stay open.
“We feel that it’s better to jump than be pushed, and perhaps us leaving the entertainment circuit might make the powers-that-be realise the need for a shake-up of how a capital city’s music scene should be supported. Calton Road once pulsed with music – from The Venue, to The Bongo on New Street to Studio 24. This part of the Old Town is almost silenced now. It’s the heart of the city, but the beat has been silenced.”
The Musicians’ Union (MU) has commented on the news of the venue closure, saying that Edinburgh’s live music scene has “suffered a disappointing blow”. The union outlined that it will continue to call and campaign for the introduction of the Agent of Change principle which, if implemented, “would have provided some much needed protection for Studio 24 and Edinburgh’s live music scene”.
Over the past year, the MU has fought to save and support venues fighting for survival and lobbied for the Agent of Change principle under the banner ‘Keep Music Live’. The Agent of Change Principle would make venues less vulnerable to complaints coming from residents of flats and houses that were built nearby after the venue was established.
The law would make it the legal responsibility of the person or persons who have brought about changes that inadvertently affect an individual or an individual’s business to take steps to remedy the problem.