Noise complaints stop charity’s fundraising gigs

Keith Sturgeon has been banned from hosting charity concerts in his cafe after noise complaints from neighbours. Picture: Greg Macvean
Keith Sturgeon has been banned from hosting charity concerts in his cafe after noise complaints from neighbours. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A CAFE has been banned from hosting musical charity nights – after neighbours complained about the noise.

The Butternut Squash cafe in Portobello was set to hold two after-hours events to raise funds for a foundation which helps disadvantaged children.

But the city council clamped down on the nights following complaints by residents, forcing the cafe to issue refunds for the sell-out performances.

The Bath Street eatery’s last fundraising effort – a Las Vegas night – raised £250 for the Scottish Huntington’s Association.

Owner Keith Sturgeon, 55, who teamed up with local entertainer Anita Watman to organise the events, said: “It’s horrendous. We were trying to do something for the good of the community by raising money for charity.

“People seem to be supporting us and the nights have been sell-outs, but our efforts have been thwarted because of complaints from a neighbour.

“The nights were only happening once a month – they weren’t going to be keeping anyone awake at night.”

The fifties and sixties nights, which were to be held later this month, were set to raise money for the George Oliver Foundation.

The charity was set up in 2010 in memory of George Oliver, who died suddenly when he was just 14 months old, and aims to raise money for disadvantaged children from all over the UK.

The cause was chosen by Anita, who went to school with George’s father, Mark Oliver.

Anita, 39, who performed hits including Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe at the Las Vegas night, said: “I have played in all sorts of places over the years and this has been one of the least noisy venues I have ever been in.

“Everyone who came along seemed to enjoy it.

“The event didn’t go on too late, it was just me and my PA system and people in the audience had tambourines. You can walk down the street and there are pubs playing really noisy karaoke music, that seems to be OK but these small nights raising money for charity aren’t.

“I don’t think we are going to carry on doing the nights – I don’t think it will be the same anywhere else, although it would be great if we could find somewhere else.”

The cafe has room for around 30 customers at a time.

A spokeswoman for the city council said: “Our noise team has received complaints from local residents and we are currently working with all parties to resolve these issues.”

The songs which have enraged neighbours include:

I’ve Got You Babe: Sonny and Cher

Midnight Train to Georgia: Gladys Knight

Let’s Stay Together: Al Green

If I Could Turn Back Time: Cher (pictured)

Try a Little Tenderness: Otis Redding

My Way: Frank Sinatra

Heartbreak Hotel: Elvis Presley

Deadringer for Love: Meat Loaf and Cher