Manchester music legends speak in support of Night & Day as venue hearing against council begins

Elbow's Guy Garvey is among artists to speak out in support of the "essential" Manchester music venue

A number of Manchester music legends have voiced their support for Night & Day as the venue’s hearing against the council begins today (November 29).

Last month it emerged that Night & Day was facing a court case over a noise complaint that could see its potential closure. More than 94,000 people have since signed a petition to remove the Noise Abatement Notice.

News of the development saw Elbow frontman Guy Garvey speak out over the matter, in which he described it as “a shameful disgrace”, adding “we are furious”.


Garvey, who performed with Elbow at the venue in the early days of the band forming, last week described Night & Day as an “essential” independent venue “that took it upon themselves to look after the city’s music and art”.

The 1975’s Matty Healy – who performed some of the band’s formative gigs at the venue – also weighed in on the controversy, telling Apple Music’s Zane Lowe last month: “It’s like moving to Leicester Square and complaining about there being too many cinemas!”

The historic venue also hosted early performances from the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Wet Leg.

Additionally, Manchester-based quintet The Goa Express have spoken about how “gutting” it would be to see another “vital” independent venue close down.

“It’s just such a big part of Manchester,” bassist Naham Muzaffar said. “People come because they want to go out and explore the city. If they are going to be shutting at 22:00 because they can’t have a DJ set, where else are people gonna go?


Night & Day
Manchester’s Night & Day. Credit: Ben Smithson.

“What other venues are going to be dealing with the same consequences?”

Music Venue Trust boss Mark Davyd, meanwhile, described the situation facing Night & Day as the “worst example, anywhere in the country” of one being left in such a “difficult position”.

“Manchester City Council are going to court saying Night & Day must change the nature of their business to accommodate a premises that never should have been allowed to be built,” he added. “So it’s a ridiculous situation.”

Ben Smithson, who manages the venue with his wife Jennifer, told the BBC they are “stressed out of our minds” about the hearing, adding that they are “praying it goes our way”.

“We can’t believe where we are, and why,” he added. “We just don’t understand why the council are going forward with this, we gave them plenty of opportunity to drop it behind closed doors.”

A Manchester City Council spokesman told the BBC it “remains supportive of the music scene in Manchester which Night & Day has championed”, but that it had to “comply with our duties in respect of statutory nuisance”.

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