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Musicians are meeting to consider further action and a venue owner says the soul of the central city is at stake after the gig was shut down.
Dr Fairleigh Evelyn Gilmour complained to the Dunedin City Council after a concert her band was playing in was shut down by noise control on Friday, April 9.
Her band Marissa and the Dandelions, along with a couple of other bands, was performing at Dog With Two Tails in Moray Pl when staff received an excessive noise order about 9pm.
The sound engineer, her husband, called the council trying to ascertain what a reasonable noise level was.
"The operator said that turning it down and shutting all the doors and windows would be adequate," she said.
They did that, but when her husband requested further information, he was told that could not be provided because turning it down to a reasonable level was subjective.
During the final band’s set, between 10pm and 10.45pm, police officers arrived with a seize order, although they did not carry it out.
The band was shut down minutes before their scheduled finish time, which Dr Gilmour described as a "horribly awkward experience".
The noise control officer claimed he could hear the music from the Meridian Mall car park, something Dr Gilmour found hard to believe.
"At no point could you not have a conversation at a normal volume directly outside the venue.
"I find it hard to fathom how we were annoying anyone."
She has written to the council to complain about the issue, and a group of musicians was getting together this weekend to consider further action.
Dog With Two Tails owner Michael Wilson said the current noise control system was subjective, based on the opinion of a security guard, and unfair, as Octagon bars and Forsyth Barr Stadium were treated differently for enforcement.
"There are no objective measures for the maximum level of sound a show should have, nor is there a noise curfew," he said.
Gigs at the venue ran until 12.30am at the latest, he said. The complaints only started a year ago.
He said the council had been good to deal with and had been trying to find a solution.
"We do need noise control and I don’t want a city full of irresponsible venues causing a nuisance, and we also need a centre that has a soul to it."
A council spokesman said noise control had been called to Dog With Two Tails six times this year. Complaints had come from three different individuals.
The council was looking into Dr Gilmour’s complaint and would be arranging to meet both her and Mr Wilson to discuss the issue.
Any complaint about excessive noise was assessed based on subjective criteria, including any relating to Octagon bars, the spokesman said.