Pub ‘won’t survive’ without live music after noise abatement order

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Fighting for survival: the King’s Head has been forced to stop its outside live music events
Fighting for survival: the King’s Head has been forced to stop its outside live music events

Related tags Music Noise abatement notice

A pub operator fears for the future of his business after he was ordered to cancel a huge outdoors music festival.

Stephen Reese operates the King’s Head in Llandudno, north Wales, and said the pub is dependent on the takings from its music events.

Just two weeks before the pub’s annual music festival was due to take place it was served a noise abatement notice from Conwy council meaning it had to cancel the event.

The Headstock festival has raised up to £15,000 for the local St David's Hospice in the past as well as keeping the pub afloat. 

Conwy council’s notice also means the pub can’t run its regular Motown DJ event ‘Soul in the Sun’. 

The pub hosted a smaller version of the festival over the bank holiday weekend (25 August 2018), with bands playing inside instead.

Hundreds of people turned up to support the pub despite it having to limit numbers.

Ending employment

Reese told The Morning Advertiser​: “With all these music events we're doing now, I'm just surviving. If I take all those away, I won't survive.

“I just can't see the pub surviving without them. I don't know where the extra money would come from.”

The pub had hired more staff at the beginning of the summer in order to train them in preparation for the event and said he would now be forced to look at discontinuing their employment. 

He added: “Will I be able to keep the pub open without music? I really don't think I can. It's a horrible thought.”

Reese said he had made adjustments to the noise volume before the notice was issued and described his frustration with the process.

He said: “I’ve tried to work with them and I have turned the music down. I know I have turned it down because all our customers are complaining and asking us to turn it up.”

Details of the complaint must be kept anonymous by the council but this left staff at the pub unsure of how to reduce the impact of the noise. 

More than 2,100 people had signed a petition against the decision​ at the time of writing, with pubgoers reminiscing about previous music events held at the pub and praising the pub for its charity work in the comments.

A spokesperson for Conwy Council confirmed a noise abatement notice was issued on 14 August.

They said: "All complaints of alleged statutory noise nuisance are looked into.

"In this case, following complaints made to us, we received log sheets from complainants and recordings, and officers carried out an observation visit to determine that there was a statutory noise nuisance. 

"A noise abatement notice requires that steps are taken to limit, reduce or stop the levels of noise so that it is no longer a statutory nuisance.

"There is a 21 day appeal period against a noise abatement notice."

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