Edinburgh pubs: Popular Leith bar stops live music nights after noise complaints

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The owners said they’d had ‘persistent’ noise complaints from a neighbour.

A popular Leith bar announced it would no longer be hosting live music and karaoke nights, after it received noise complaints from a neighbour.

The Central Bar put up a notice in their window telling customers that following ‘persistent’ complaints from a resident they would axe live music nights after decades of providing live music entertainment.

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It has sparked anger among locals who have now launched a petition calling on the music licence to be reinstated. The petition has gathered nearly 2000 signatures in just one day since it started on Saturday, 11 November.

The Central Bar on Leith WalkThe Central Bar on Leith Walk
The Central Bar on Leith Walk

Organisers of the petition said: “The Central Bar, Leith, is more than just a place to grab a pint. It's an integral part of our community providing live music and entertainment that brings us together and enriches our cultural landscape. However, the pub's music license has been revoked!

“The Central Bar has a very long history in Leith, we've all been in after work, to meet our friends and family, or sauntered in for a friendly pint and sing-a-long with our local bands. The Central has been a vital community venue for Leithers, for decades. There's rarely any trouble, the drinks and staff are great and it's always been a great community hotspot to see old and new faces. We've all enjoyed great nights of music from the likes of Andy Chung!

“Sadly, Edinburgh council have revoked the music license due to 'noise' complaints from neighbours. Only, there are no neighbours! So why now, given there are umpteen music venues up and down Leith Walk?

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“Surely this is a step too far, even for the council, considering music venues are a vital resource to local economies and the Central has been pivotal to this in Leith, for decades.”

They added: “The loss of this license would not only impact the pub but also local musicians who rely on these venues for exposure and income. It would deprive residents and visitors of diverse musical experiences that contribute significantly to our cultural identity. We urge the licensing authorities to consider these implications seriously - removing the Central's music license will only negatively impact our community's vibrancy and economic health.”

Susan Rae, Green councillor for Leith Walk, said,

“I was very concerned to hear the Central Bar has stopped putting on live music. There are very few live music venues in Edinburgh, and they’re a vital part of the city’s cultural scene. However, in a densely populated city such as ours it’s also essential that residents are able to get a decent night’s sleep, and that loud music venues are respectful of their neighbours. We need to get the balance right between a thriving music scene on the one hand, and folk being able to get peace and quiet in their own home on the other. I’ve raised this issue with my colleagues on Licensing Board to see what can be done here.”

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