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Council agrees to relax Edinburgh's live music policy 

The licensing board voted to amend the controversial policy which is 'stifling' gigs in the city.

Amplified music: Policy had strict inaudibility rule. <strong>© Foto Jenny</strong>
Amplified music: Policy had strict inaudibility rule. © Foto Jenny

Councillors have agreed to adjust a live music policy to help settle a long-running debate about gigs in Edinburgh.

The management of music events in the city centre has sparked controversy, with existing legislation requiring music and vocals to be kept at a level which is inaudible to neighbouring properties.

This means that if just one resident complains about hearing live music from a gig, the venue could be forced to turn down the volume or shut down the event.

The council has said it wants to strike the balance between fostering a vibrant music scene and avoiding undue disturbance for local residents, with some claiming the issue stifles live events across the city.

Members of the city’s licensing board heard from campaigners on both sides of the issue on Monday before deciding whether to relax the inaudibility clause by measuring it against factors including timing and location.

Following the hearing, which lasted more than five hours, they voted in favour of amending the existing policy.

The licensing board agreed to change the wording of the policy which required amplified music “to be inaudible in residential properties ”

The policy now reads: “Amplified music shall not be an audible nuisance in neighbouring residential premises.”

An action plan and report will be published in due course.

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