It looks like we’ll be seeing less shows on the Sydney Opera House forecourt from now on, because prominent Australian concert promoter Michael Chugg has revealed that he longer wants to hold concerts there.
It recently came to light that the Opera House was fined $15,000 for breaching noise limits during a Florence + The Machine concert Chugg hosted on the forecourt in 2015, and he’s now told The Australian that he is no longer interested in holding shows on the forecourt, because the space’s restrictions are too overbearing.
Speaking about the Florence + The Machine show, Chugg says, “It was terrible — people were talking over the sound level… and the audience [capped at 6,000] is too small, which doesn’t help the atmosphere.”
After hosting four Florence + The Machine shows on the Opera House forecourt in 2015, Chugg also hosted two shows by Tame Impala, which were also criticised by punters for being too quiet.
In October 2016, the Department of Planning and Environment approved modifications to the Sydney Opera House’s current Development Application (DA), including changes to how sound levels are monitored during outdoor performances. Despite this, Chugg says he will now only book the forecourt if an act insists on it.
“We haven’t done anything since Florence; I feel sorry for the Opera House and I reckon they’re gonna cop it for Crowded House,” he says.
Crowded House played four shows on the forecourt last year, during which the band’s frontman Neil Finn urged fans to sing as loud as they could in order to wake up residents of the nearby ‘Toaster’ building, who often complain about noise from forecourt concerts.
The Sydney Opera House doesn’t have any forecourt shows planned at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, City Of Sydney council is preparing to release a discussion paper about entertainment noise, ahead of proposed changes to how it deals with noise complaints.