I took over The Woolpack Pub 2 years ago, as it was under threat of not re-opening, over the 2 years we have renovated and revamping the gardens into somewhere everyone enjoys an afternoon or evening visit.
In August last year we put up an 18 x 8 meter marquee to allow us to continue operating through Covid and to cover the stage, plus allow us to put on live music events, whatever the weather.
Since we started having live music in the marquee, we have received on a weekly basis complaints from a handful of neighbours about the music being too loud, and we responded by changing the following.
Reduced the nights we do live music to
1 night a week (a Friday or a Saturday)
1 Sunday acoustic afternoon per week
Changed the time of the evening gigs to 7pm - 10pm (Friday or Saturday) 2pm - 5pm on a Sunday.
Moved the stage from the bottom end of the garden where it was facing the houses, to the top end so that the music would be sent out across the river and the fields.
Carpeted the stage
Tried gigs with un mic'd drums
Cancelled some gigs
Taken decibel readings up and down the street, inside some of the houses to ensure the level we were playing at couldn't be heard inside anyones homes.
Asked for help from the Local Council, to give us some guidance on what level we should be playing at, but they have been unable to give us this guidance as there is no legislation for how loud outside live music should be.
Worked with one of the complainants when sound checking to try and get the level acceptable.
We have tried everything we can to work with the council and neighbours to no avail and as such we were served a noise abatement notice, meaning we should either reduce or stop the nuisance.
We continued with our events under the noise abatement notice and made reductions in the decibel levels every week, and have now heard back from the Courts that they are accepting our appeal against the notice.
This is about far more than a couple of hours of music a week, it's about a community coming together and enjoy being out, it's about the bands that without places like ours to play wouldn't go from playing a guitar in their bedroom to playing Wembley Stadium. It's about the hundreds of people who need places like this to survive for their mental well being, it's our elderly customers that for some of them their only social outlet is coming along to have a chat with us, it's about the people we employ.
We literally are the heart of this community, and have the support of hundreds of local residents, versus a handful of complainants that are putting this amazing pub jobs and it's live music at risk.
We are going to fight this all the way through the courts, and with that will come a hefty legal bill, so if you want to help in the fight to 'Save Our Live Music' and a thriving community pub - We thank you