Night & Day’s future still ‘hangs in the balance’ following resident noise complaint as drama rumbles on

It faces a court hearing next month.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 27th October 2022

Legendary Manchester gig venue Night & Day says it could still be facing closure following a noise complaint from a neighbouring apartment last year.

The beloved music and arts hub faces a court hearing at the end of November, or otherwise complying with the requirements of the abatement notice, which it says ‘would effectively ruin Night & Day’s business’.

The venue’s owner says the fault ‘lies squarely with Manchester City Council’, adding that planning permission was granted for the flats where the noise complainant lives despite the planning department ‘knowing about the potential for noise disturbance’.

Night & Day has also claimed that an acoustic report was not provided and acoustic works not completed when the neighbouring building was turned into apartments – a claim that the Council ‘completely rejects’.

The tangled drama all began last November, when a person who lived beside the venue complained about the noise.

Night & Day. Credit: Supplied

They had moved in during lockdown, when music venues were shuttered and silent, and filed a noise complaint when Night & Day resumed its normal activities.

Manchester City Council has repeatedly stressed that a noise abatement notice does not have the power to shut down a venue, and said it ‘remains supportive of the music scene in Manchester which Night and Day has championed’.


For three decades, the venue has hosted the likes of Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, Wet Leg, James Bay and Elbow – and Elbow’s frontman Guy Garvey is one of the voices who has spoken out about Night & Day’s noise abatement notice.

He described it as a ‘shameful disgrace’ and said: “That this corner stone of our city’s culture is under attack again is bewildering.”

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He later added: “The message to the council is drop this and focus on making it the last time it happens to any music venue in our city.


“To everyone else concerned I cannot stress enough that anger directed at the complainants is misdirected. This is the council’s problem.

“Please pour your energy into supporting the campaign to save Night & Day and in due course the national legislation to prevent this happening to any historic venue that has been nick-named Jan’s Law.”

Owner Jennifer Smithson, daughter of the late founder and Manchester icon Jan Oldenburg, said: “We were one of the founding businesses in the development of the Northern Quarter, people wanted to move here because of vibrant, interesting places like Night & Day which is great and it’s really enhanced the area.

“What is particularly galling is that the planning department knew about the potential for noise disturbance from Night & Day when it issued the planning consent to turn the warehouse next door into residential flats.

“A separate acoustic report was required to establish what could be done to prevent noise from Night & Day impacting residents of the building. However, no separate acoustic report was ever prepared by the developer and the planning department allowed the building to be occupied without suitable acoustic insulation works.


“We now have to either accept the noise abatement notice, which will put us at risk of immediate prosecution in the event of noise complaints, or go to court at significant expense to appeal it. This could mean the end of Night & Day forever. It’s a nightmare.”

“It’s just so unfair,” she continued. “We believe that the fault lies squarely with Manchester City Council. They could cancel the noise abatement notice and rectify the problem that they originally caused, rather than close down a business that’s been the beating heart of the Manchester music scene for decades.”

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “It must be made explicitly clear from the outset that the Council has never threatened to close down this venue, nor is there any legislation which would allow a Noise Abatement Notice to be used to close a premises.

Credit: Facebook, Night & Day Cafe

“It is important to reiterate throughout this process extensive discussions have taken place to try and address the statutory noise nuisance which was the sole reason a Noise Abatement Notice (NAN) was served.

“The Council is, and remains, supportive of the music scene in Manchester which Night and Day has championed, but we have to comply with our duties in respect of statutory nuisance. It is also important to state that the source of complaints regarding this venue relate to very loud music played into the early hours of the morning and not live band performances.


“The Council’s planning records show that an acoustic report was provided during the development of surrounding units, and the Council completely rejects any suggestion that planning conditions were not met.

“The Council will continue to work towards an amicable resolution where the noise nuisance is fully addressed.”

Night & Day has started a petition to have the noise abatement notice removed – you can read more and sign it here.

Featured image: Facebook – Night & Day Cafe