And the latest live music venue to get hit with noise complaints from nearby residents is… the Sydney Opera House?
News Corp reports the iconic concert hall has been drawn into an “ugly row” with some of its neighbours, AKA the residents of one of Australia’s most expensive apartment buildings sitting right next-door.
A cartel of wealthy inhabitants from the Bennelong apartment known as “the Toaster” are pissed off about a bunch of shit that the Opera House has been doing with itself of late, and they’ve compiled a long list of grievances into a nifty document snappily dubbed The Trashing of the Opera House, which has been circulated to “various government agencies, including the Premier’s office, UNESCO and the Heritage Council”.
The militant squadron — who’ve dubbed themselves the Sydney Opera House Concerned Citizens Group — have also been lobbying the Opera House management, Liquor & Gaming NSW, the NSW Police Force, state ministers, the Premier’s Department, the City of Sydney council and UNESCO to make “urgent” changes.
In short, these guys mean business.
Among their gripes is the Opera House’s move towards more open-air concerts — like the upcoming run of sold-out encore shows from Aussie icons Crowded House — which the residents reckon create a “harsh visual impact” on the national icon that robs tourists of the chance to see it “as it was intended”.
One such resident, a guy you may have heard of named Alan Jones (yep, that Alan Jones) has railed against the “ugliness” and “lack of access” caused by shipping containers and the construction of tall lighting poles for concerts in the Opera House forecourt, telling News Corp: “It’s like a bomb site, and this goes on for 120 days a year. Go down there, it’s an eyesore.”
While one of Jones’s neighbours, a dude named Corey Cooney, wrote to the Planning Minister because he was jack of all the noise.
“I completely object to extending hours of concerts on our doorstep and increasing the hours of bumping in and bumping out,” Cooney rages (via News Corp).
“It is not only the concert itself, it’s the post-event noise of patrons leaving the premises drunk and disorderly, late at night, which affects our sleep and wellbeing as residents.
“Such noise and disruption is evident even with doors and blinds closed, furthermore affecting my basic sleep and that of my family.
“My family and I have the right to relax in our own home without having trucks and concert operations causing disturbance into the early hours of the morning.”
Image Via Sydney Opera House
Meanwhile, Cooney’s dad-in-law — former Macquarie Group investment banker and fellow angry resident Bill Moss — has apparently “called for heads to roll in the planning ministry”.
There’s plenty more stuff that the coalition of cantankerous residents are rankled about too. They’ve also accused Sydney Opera House management of a “culture of lies, denials and cover-ups”, pointing to alleged breaches relating to the expansion of the popular Opera Bar and renovations in the venue’s southern forecourt.
Jan Utzen — the son of the Opera House’s OG architect Jorn Utzen — has even jumped in the ring, voicing his concerns that increasing “visual intrusions” from outdoor concerts and renos could jeopardise the iconic venue’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Planning Department has told News Corp that it’s going to look into claims of a potential compliance breach for both the Opera House and the Opera Bar, despite a Sydney Opera House spokesman claiming that their outdoor concerts don’t breach any development consents.
Could it be that — in an Australia where live music venues are dropping like flies as a direct result of government policy and noise-complaining residents — even the Sydney Opera House isn’t immune?