Melbourne venue Cherry Bar is appealing to patrons to save it from the threat of closure by pitching in for the expensive costs of soundproofing works after a 12-storey apartment block moved in next door.
“Despite the fact that Cherry has not had a single noise complaint in 14 positive and successful rocking years, as soon as these apartments open and one person complains we are on the wrong side of the law and can be closed down,” explains Cherry owner and booker James Young.
The venue has set up the Save The Cherry Bar crowdfunding campaign via PledgeMusic, and is asking the live music loving public to help raise the necessary funds to commence work on the sound-proofing so they will be able to continue to operate as a 7-night-a-week live music venue.
“In some senses this is a sad story,” continues Young. “It really is not fair that the venue has to pay for this sound-proofing. It should be the developers’ cost. And it’s not fair that we have to turn to the cash-strapped public and ask for their help to contribute half of our building costs.”
“The conclusion I’ve come to is…to avoid confrontation is the best course of action: to soundproof Cherry so we are compliant and beyond reproach and above complaints from our new neighbours and can 100% stay alive and continue to support live music.”
The plea comes at the same time as Melbourne live music industry lobby group Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM) accused Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy of dragging his feet on promised reforms to the live music scene and delaying the implementation of the Agent of Change principle to help protect live music venues from noise complaints.
“All the support in the world and all the well meaning, but ultimately ethereal acceptance of the agent of change principle…at Council and Government level count for nothing at this stage because right now the law is immediately on the side of the pop-up complaint maker,” says Young.
Those who pledge to the campaign will be given a wide selection of items to ‘purchase’ including T-Shirts, named “bricks” in the soundproof wall, a 7-track digital EP and medallions for annual and life-time free entry to Cherry Bar.
The Save The Cherry Bar campaign has already reached 69% of its goal and there still 41 days to go.