Noise complaints force Edinburgh music festival indoors

Summerhall in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Summerhall in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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An outdoor festival being staged in Edinburgh to coincide with the opening of an exhibition charting the history of Scottish pop music has been forced indoors after the venue was hit by noise complaints by neighbours.

Summerhall has been forced to relocate a weekend of special events in its courtyard after being visited by council officials minutes after an outdoor show by Idlewild on Thursday night.

The gig, part of a 10-day series of events at the venue, was staged hours after frontman Roddy Woomble helped launch the exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

A host of leading contemporary acts had been lined up to appear at a 10-hour event in the venue’s courtyard, including Withered Hand, Modern Studies, Emma Pollock, Be Charlotte, Carla Easton, Broken Records and Stanley Odd.

Billed as “an all-day event to remember and a true celebration of Scottish music,” the Rip It Up Festival was part of Southern Exposure, which was organised by Summerhall to coincide with the exhibition’s opening.

City council officials found the venue had breached a previous pledge to ensure local residents would not be disrupted in their homes.

Sam Gough, general manager of Summerhall, said: “After a rousing sold out event with headliner Idlewild to celebrate the opening of Rip It Up at NMS - due to unexpected circumstances the final weekend of Southern Exposure is moving inside into Summerhall’s dissection Room. Vendors will remain outside for ticket holders over what’s set to be the hottest weekend of the year.”

Broken Records singer Jamie Sutherland, who is also the music programmer at Summerhall, said: “We’ll move vendors into the front courtyard and use it as a break-out space and beer garden, but it’s certainly disappointing to not be able to perform outdoors. The Idlewild show was just magic.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Edinburgh is world renowned for its culture and live music contributes to this. It’s important we balance this up with the rights of residents to peace and quiet in their own homes.

“Every licenced premises has responsibility under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 to ensure it operates in accordance with its licencing conditions.

“In this instance, upon receiving and witnessing noise complaints from the public, officers attended and gave the event organisers advice.”