Joint bid to solve problems facing live music in city

Members of the ‘‘Save Dunedin Live Music’’ group (from left) Person Will, Fairleigh Evelyn...
Members of the ‘‘Save Dunedin Live Music’’ group (from left) Person Will, Fairleigh Evelyn Gilmour and Michael Morris at the Crown Hotel recently. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
It turns out there is nothing more rock’n’roll than district planning.

The Dunedin City Council heard many songs of protest from the live music industry during the 10-year planning process earlier this year.

Areas of discord included noise complaints shutting down gigs, the need for more investment and promotion, and a lack of performance and rehearsal spaces.

Now the two sides are singing from the same song sheet, collaboration having begun on solving the issues facing the industry.

Save Dunedin Live Music (SDLM) spokesman David Bennett said his group had met the council twice, and would be continuing to do so to thrash out some of the issues.

SDLM is a collective of industry figures and includes those in on-stage and off-stage roles.

Many of the issues facing the industry could be solved through changes to the district plan, particularly in the area of noise control, Mr Bennett said.

While the impact of noise complaints on gigs had gained a lot of attention, it was also a concern for creating rehearsal spaces.

‘‘They’re playing Russian roulette even running rehearsal studios, because there’s some pretty hefty fines and some pretty hefty regulations [in the event of complaints]’’.

Changes to resource consenting to make it easier for promoters to run festivals were also desirable.

‘‘Currently, we have quite an onerous and expensive process, which makes a lot of the major promoters and tour providers in this country give us a wide berth.’’

Discussions between the two groups had been very productive, and it was fantastic how eager council staff were to let his group take the lead, Mr Bennett said.

Council creative industries manager Kirsten Glengarry said the council was planning to hold hui with the wider music community as well as regularly meeting the collective.

Staff were working with the ultimate goal of creating a live music action plan, which was expected to go before the council in December.

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