Image for Vivid Sydney Gig Shut Down Before 9:30pm Over Noise ComplaintsPhoto: Birdman / Facebook

Vivid Sydney Gig Shut Down Before 9:30pm Over Noise Complaints

Written by Music Feeds on June 2, 2017

A Sydney Vivid Festival concert in Kings Cross was shut down before 9:30pm last night, following a series of noise complaints which began flowing into the venue from as early as 7:30pm.

Local novelty punk act ‘Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue of A Tony Hawk Pro Skater Cover Band’ were performing at the Kings Cross Hotel as part of the launch event for Vivid’s Basement Parties: SKATE Or Die! series last night (which had intended to help “reinvigorate Sydney’s nightlife”) and were four songs deep into their set when the gig was (ironically) shut down.

The “heartbroken” band, which perform covers from the iconic Pro Skater video game soundtracks, have taken to Facebook to vent their sorrow and frustration at the “sad” situation.

Part of their statement reads:

Sydney. Wow.

This city is truly dying. We were invited to launch the Basement Parties for Vivid Sydney – ambitiously reinvigorating the seemingly lost nightlife that was once thriving through our streets, only to get enough noise complaints to shut down the show…

And it’s not even 9:30pm.

We’ve played four songs.

We’re in an iconic local venue.

And we’re heartbroken.

Because we can’t keep playing for you.

Speaking with Music Feeds, bassist Simeon says the band were told they’d already received a couple of complaints during soundcheck at around 7:30pm, during which they played a grand total of two songs lasting less than five minutes altogether.

“We went on stage at 9:15pm as scheduled, and we were already running at low volumes (as we had to because a: small room and b: power overloading),” he says.

“During our third song, I could see the venue manager and the Vivid promoter having a discussion at the back of the room, with expressions on their faces that didn’t look positive. I locked eyes with the promoter, and I could tell straight away, purely from the disappointment in his eyes, that this was going to end real soon. He wasn’t happy either. Nor was the venue.

“We stopped playing after our fourth song (at 9:30pm — we were scheduled to play two sets that would see us running to 11:15pm-ish). We couldn’t do anything else. The venue cleared out by 10.

“It’s just sad, really,” he says. “And slightly ironic. The whole point of the basement parties were to reinvigorate the nightlife.”

Meanwhile, Kings Cross Hotel’s Entertainment Manager, Adam Lewis, describes the whole thing as “totally disappointing”, after making the decision to cancel the gig before police or council got involved.

“This was a tricky one,” he tells Music Feeds. “We received a number of unexpected noise complaints and tried to resolve them with our mix, volume, et cetera, but eventually it became clear that we had no further options but to end the show.

“Being a venue that hosts dozens of DJs, parties and bands on other floors, without issue, every week, I had to make the really difficult and unfortunate decision to end the show. Playing on was looking really likely to cause some serious issues on the night, and threaten our ability to operate music in the long-term.

“It’s a really disappointing scenario for all involved — we’ve refunded all punters and shouted them a round of drinks on the night, and we’re working to reschedule this as a free party in a different location shortly. It’s really important to us that we continue to support music and arts in the space, with the support of our community and neighbours.”

Music Feeds has contacted Vivid Sydney for comment.

Read Birdman’s Facebook post in full, below.

Birdman Statement (Via Facebook)

Sydney. Wow.

This city is truly dying. We were invited to launch the Basement Parties for Vivid Sydney – ambitiously reinvigorating the seemingly lost nightlife that was once thriving through our streets, only to get enough noise complaints to shut down the show…

And it’s not even 9:30pm.

We’ve played four songs.

We’re in an iconic local venue.

And we’re heartbroken.

Because we can’t keep playing for you.

The thing is, this is probably one of the most innocent gigs I’ve (Sim) ever played in my entire professional music career. I’ve played a lot of shows that should’ve been shut down – this is not one of them. This is not one of them at all.

This is proof that legislation needs to change. Because everybody is losing in this situation. We just haven’t faced the true consequences of the absence of culture. And if things keep going the way they’re going, that future isn’t too far off.

All the best to the other acts who will continue on with the Basement Parties for Vivid. May you not meet the same unfortunate fate we did.
To our audience – you were amazing from the first note. And even more amazing and supportive past our last. Thank you for coming. We will be rescheduling our show again soon – and you’ll all be coming for free.

To the event organisers and the venue – your heart is in the right place. Unfortunately the legislation isn’t (yet). Thank you for having us kick off the event. We still had fun, albeit extremely short lived.

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