Kings Arms Noise Complaint & Shut Down – Promoter’s Response

By now you probably have heard that The Kings Arms was shut down over the weekend due to a noise complaint. The promoter of the show… Life Is Noise… has released this statement:

I was personally and professionally disappointed by a number of happenings surrounding the closure of Kings Arms on Saturday night in Auckland. So were the punters, the bands and many of the staff of Kings Arms.

As we all know Kings Arms is in its death throes. The property has been sold and the venue will run its course over the next year. It is sad to see any live music venue shut down especially one with such a rich history as Auckland’s Kings Arms.

However, like many businesses with a limited life span, Kings Arms is not being run to its potential. It is being run into the ground. There is poor communications from the owners/managers. They really do not have their heart in it any more.

As for the specifics of the last couple of days. The venue at no stage contacted us to tell us about the circumstances of Friday night – where there was a noise complaint made and the venue was told it would be shut down if it received another one in the next 72 hours. We found out through a friend who overheard a conversation at the venue. Neither Maureen, nor Lisa contacted us at all. And at the time of writing this, they still have not contacted us.

I called Lisa and left messages on the day of the show. I sent her emails on the day of the show. No reply. No advice. Nothing.

I sought advice from other venue owners in Auckland and Wellington. I would have moved the venue but at such late notice and with so few venues in Auckland it was not possible.
We powered on.

Once we got to the venue on the Saturday we were assured by venue manager Peter that everything would be alright and the Friday night band were overly loud and really pushing the bass frequencies.

I decided with the bands to not do a sound check. This is very unusual but in light of the the previous night and because of a real fear of the venue being shut down we considered this part of the management of the situation. I also made sure that the sliding doors out on to the outside area were closed for the duration of the evening and every other door was as well. I personally did this. The venue went along with my direction here.

The two supports Greenfog and Bloodnut played first. Then Cough played after them. All three got through all of their sets with no problems. The second headliner Windhand played last. They played their first song and I decided to go check on the front door – looking at the possibility of closing the door for the night. I had a look outside and there was about a dozen or more Auckland Police on site in the carpark with a couple of guys from Auckland City Council. They were speaking with the duty manager.

I spoke to them and I understand their concern. They seemed to be just following procedure. I think they were just doing their job by the letter of the law. Therein lies the problem here. The law is wrong. How can one person’s opinion be more important than hundreds or thousands.

I can understand the council – I can understand the cops. I cannot understand the law of the good country of New Zealand and the city of Auckland.

If you want good music, you need to support venues – even badly run venues like Kings Arms. They need to be fostered. They need to be protected. They help sustain culture and the oft forgotten subcultures. The Kings Arms has been there for a long time. The complainant has not.

There were a lot of very understanding people at the gig on Saturday night. A lot of lovers of music. But I think these lovers of music need to support venues. And they need to organise, and protest, and get governments to stop a person sitting in their ivory tower shutting down a live music space, and cultural hub.

Kings Arms has plenty of faults, but they do provide something that few in the city of Auckland are doing. They are providing a music venue. And we all know Auckland needs them. Rise up Kiwis and protect live music in your cities.

We will be moving the Alcest show on April 24 from Kings Arms to another venue. More information on this very soon. We love New Zealand, the people and the music scene. We will continue to do shows in this country. Thank you for your support.

N.B. Views expressed in this statement are from Life Is Noise and do not represent the views of The 13th Floor.