South Bank music 'so loud that neighbours could Shazam tracks'

A South Bank festival was so loud a local man could use a music identification app to look up tracks from his bedroom in a nearby 10th floor flat, Lambeth councillors were told on Tuesday night.

South Bank music 'so loud that neighbours could Shazam tracks'
The Between the Bridges event takes place on the former Hungerford Car Park, latterly used by the Underbelly festival

Simon Stuart was able to recognise songs played at the Between the Bridges event with the music identification app Shazam from inside his home in the nearby Southbank Place development.

Mr Stuart told a Lambeth Council licensing meeting that he was stressed out from hearing loud music blasted out by speakers at the annual Between the Bridges event. He said his family has suffered nuisance from the nine-month long festival since May 2021, shortly after last year’s edition of the annual food, drinks and music festival started.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday night, Mr Stuart said: “Last year I was able to Shazam some of the tracks they were playing from my bedroom window. The bedroom window was open but that gives you some idea how loud it was.

“Last Saturday with the PA system they were shouting ‘come on make some noise’ and I could hear that in my flat. All the windows were closed. I’ve got no objection to the Between the Bridges site, food, drink, people having fun. But please just lower the music to a level that doesn’t disturb our enjoyment.”

Mr Staurt and his family moved into their flat in the Southbank Place Casson Square in December 2020.

Despite complaining to the event’s organisers about the loud music throughout last year, Mr Stuart said the noise at the opening night of the 2022 event was still too loud.

He said: “On the opening night - I think it was 28 April - the music was very loud. Since then compared to last year the music volumes are occurring less frequently at a high level. That’s not to say they’ve completely stopped.

“Last weekend I think Saturday during the day it was very loud with the PA system and in the evening the music and the bass picked up again. It tends to be between 9:30 [pm] and 11 [pm] with the bass.”

Simon Taylor, representing Between the Bridges, said live music was only played at the event on a few days of every week. He told the licensing meeting: “In the early parts of the week, Monday and Tuesday, often there will be no entertainment but a recorded music playlist. Later in the week, Friday to Sunday, that’s where we’re going to showcase music events… with what my client calls the best talent in London.”

Mr Tayor added that Between the Bridges’s organisers had agreed to reduce the capacity of the event from 3,000 to 2,000 to reduce the impact on locals.

Councillors approved the festival’s application to play live and recorded music from 10am to 11pm at the meeting.

Between the Bridges runs from April to December on the Hungerford Car Park site next to Jubilee Gardens. Its website promises guests: “live DJs, sensational street food, craft beer & cocktails, drag brunches, [and] immersive bingo weekly music quizzes.”

The site occupied by Between the Bridges was bought by the owners of the Southbank Place development with the intention of extending Jubilee Gardens.

Tags: Lambeth, Politics & local government, Business, South Bank, Arts & culture

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