h

Howler fights developers, calls in lawyers to protect their live music venue

Yet another prominent live music venue is under threat from inner city developers – this time it’s Howler in Brunswick.

Eighteen months ago, a developer filed plans with Moreland Council for new apartments on 8-14 Michael Street. Some of the bedrooms in the new eight-storey block overlook the Howler’s bandroom, which of course means the 669-capacity venue is vulnerable to noise complaints.
 
Two weeks ago, Howler’s operators realised they had a problem. Technically, the venue is protected by Agent of Change, which means that the onus is on the developer to soundproof the rooms. This is particularly so as the developers have changed the rules from commercial to residential
 
In this case, the application lists Howler as “a former wool store” rather than as a live music venue which has been operating since 2013 and won an international award for its bar contents.
 
“In all the plans they hardly acknowledge we exist,” says co-owner Brendan Brogan.  He adds, “There is no mention of the sound attenuation they are responsible for.”
 
Howler have called in the lawyers and engineers, and registered an objection. The period for public discussion on the development ends next Monday (July 10). The venue also plans to launch a social campaign. If Beat readers want to help protect a live music venue, go to the Moreland Council website, check out the design, and take the next step.

For more industry news visit Christie Eliezer's Industrial Strength column.