A rash of noise complaints has forced Halifax’s Timber Lounge to cancel most of its live music shows and is leaving two worker’s jobs hanging in the balance. As the result of three noise complaints the venue’s live music license, controlled by the Nova Scotia Liquor and Gaming Board, has been revoked.
According to Darren Hudson, one of the owners of the Timber Lounge, the three noise complaints came from a neighbour. The first two complaints were for exceeding the 11:00pm noise cut-off by a matter of minutes, the third for a kick drum exceeding 90 dB.
Music Promoter, C.J. Hill began has been working at the Timber Lounge since June. He says that in that time he’s organized nearly fifty shows.
Hill says that the license being revoked has lead to the cancellation of more than twenty shows. Those show include both The Mike Bochoff Band and Pretty Archie, two acts that Hill says would have brought in a fair amount of business.
“We’re pretty bummed. The Timber Lounge is a great venue that has been supporting live music in this city. We were looking forward to getting back. There’s obviously variables at play that are out of our control. I don’t know all the circumstances behind it but I do know it’s unfortunate,” states Mike Bochoff on the issue.
The venue, which is set up with a professional stage and sound system, (and a whole area just set up so you can toss axes and drink) was in the act of installing sound proofing when the notice came.
“Now [we] can only maybe do acoustic and mic when the system and stage are built for full bands. It’s a damn shame,” adds Hill.
Though the venue’s main feature is its axe toss, Hill is worried that the loss of live music will cost them business, and possibly his job.
“This puts my job and our sound guy Alex’s job now in jeopardy. We were told that with the liquor board threatening the license of a bar, there isn’t much we can do.”
Although this situation has currently taken a turn for the worse, the staff feel the outcome is not reflective of the majority of the neighbourhood’s opinion on the matter.
Hudson says that they’re taking a time-out on the live music to re-evaluate their options. The Lounge’s lease is up in three month, and the possibility of adding further sound-proofing is a financial burden they’re currently weighing. In the meantime The Timber Lounge is still able to host live music, though limited to acoustic sets. They’re inviting any previously scheduled artists to keep their scheduled shows and to perform acoustically, if they are able.
Hill says that he hopes that the Timber Lounge gets a second chance at bands. In the meantime, they’ll be limited to acoustic shows. “The bar will be fine regardless but I’d love to stay a part of it.”