Night & Day Cafe has confirmed that it will continue to operate as a live music venue and nightclub following a three-year court battle.

The venue was handed a noise abatement notice by Manchester City Council in 2021 following complaints from an adjacent flat. This sparked huge backlash — a petition demanding the notice be removed reached nearly 100,000 signatures, with a number of high-profile musical figures throwing their support behind Night & Day.

Despite a judge upholding the notice after an appeal from the Northern Quarter stalwart, they permitted the iconic venue to continue operating as a nightclub as long as new noise restrictions were put in place.

Confirming the news on social media, Night & Day wrote: “We are delighted that the Noise Abatement Notice has been amended in favour of Night & Day Cafe with the judge agreeing to the noise levels that we offered to Manchester City Council in June 2023 as part of joint testing and negotiations.

“This means we can continue with the club nights that N&D and other live music venues are so dependent on. DJ club nights contribute to developing the raw, amazing talent and emerging live music scene that grace our stage, Manchester and beyond.”

However, the venue also shared its disappointment at being forced to adjust its sound levels: “Although N&D has won, we’re disappointed with today’s judgement as the venue will have to adjust our club nights to suit an occupier of what is a defective apartment.

“MCC Planning approved the apartment back in 2000 in full knowledge that there would be serious potential for noise problems in this flat and before any resident moved in. Today’s decision has huge implications for other Manchester night time industries and operators.”

Following the ruling, a Manchester City Council spokesperson said: “We are glad that this case has reached a conclusion, although it is regrettable that despite many attempts it could not be amicably resolved prior to Night & Day bringing this court case.

“The Council has never sought to close Night & Day and very much want it to remain open and continue to play an active role in Manchester’s music scene.

“Over many months numerous meetings have taken place where we have sought to reach an amicable resolution with the venue, through negotiation and offering compromise, to agree acceptable sound levels which would allow us to uphold our legal duties and the venue to continue to thrive.

“It is as a last resort and extremely rare for us to issue a noise abatement notice. Manchester’s music venues overwhelmingly live in harmony with their neighbours and while complaints and issues are not uncommon, they are almost always resolved through dialogue.

“We welcome the judge’s ruling that Night & Day should use a noise limiter. The use of a limiter was a solution we proposed – and the judgement makes clear that our officers acted correctly in investigating the noise complaints in line with the Council’s legal responsibilities.

“We hope that we can all move forward from this unfortunate episode and we wish to work constructively with the venue.

“Music is a key ingredient of what makes Manchester special. The Council not only recognises this but has for many decades supported and encouraged grassroots venues and emerging musical talent. We continue to do so.

“In response to the pressures facing grassroots music venues across the country and here in the city, the Council commissioned a major independent review into the support Manchester’s grassroots music venues need, and how the council and partners can support venues. Its findings will be launched in May and will set out a way to champion Manchester’s independent music scene for the years ahead.

“The Council regularly support music ventures across the city, from grassroots to major venues, and emerging musicians through initiatives like Manchester Music City, Brighter Sounds and the Manchester Music Education Hub. The Council also funds and supports Beyond The Music, a new annual conference and festival which brings music industry leaders together to address challenges within the sector.

“We are committed to helping Manchester’s music scene to continue to flourish for many years to come.”

Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 18 Mar 2024