Night & Day Cafe noise abatement hearing adjourned till later in 2023

The ongoing case related to Night & Day Cafe’s appeal over a noise abatement order has been adjourned till later in the year.

The Manchester venue was served the noise abatement order in November 2021 from a new resident who had moved to the city during lockdown.

Despite months of petitioning and fundraising for the venue and messages of support from acts local to or with strong connections to Manchester including Elbow’s Guy Garvey and The 1975’s Matty Healy, Night & Day remains in danger of closure due to a planning file for the redevelopment of a nearby building.


Although a noise abatement order isn’t grounds to shut a venue down, it could be subject to seizure of sound equipment, fines and potential prosecution. These alone would be enough to shut down Night & Day for good.

Now, the venue has returned to court to continue appealing the noise abatement order. It was expected that the judge would decide whether to uphold or drop the notice, with the venue anticipating to hear the judge’s decision sometime after.

According to reports, Night & Day and Manchester City Council have continued to disagree on noise levels. Night & Day want the noise abatement notice to be dropped completely, while the council want to amend the existing notice to allow for music and bass at certain levels.

There was then further disagreement over how loud the maximum noise levels should be. According to Leo Charalambides from Manchester City Council, an acoustic report determined a noise level that would be “acceptable to all parties” and “commercially viable”, but Night & Day argued that the levels were tested at a “unique music event” that’s not representative of the range of nights the venue puts on. Furthermore, they stressed that range is necessary for their commercial viability.

Night & Day
A gig at Manchester’s Night & Day. Credit: Ben Smithson

Both sides’ representative noise experts continued to discuss the issue but once again fundamentally disagreed. The council wanted a noise limit between 95.5-101 decibels, while the venue suggested 100dB and a reduction in the limit of bass from 114dB to 110.  The bass limit would be a licence condition, so they could face prosecution if they didn’t adhere to it.


They also disagreed on on the methodology of the current testing. The council have argued that more tests are needed, but the venue insisted that they could go off the planning amenity rules.

The case was then adjourned, with more testing of a range of events set to be held over a three weekend window. The dates for those are yet to be confirmed.

According to reports, venue co-owner Jennifer Smithson sighed and had her head in her hands on hearing confirmation of the adjournment.

Smithson previously said that the venue believed that “the source of this issue is that when MCC Planning approved the building of flats next to Night & Day there was no consideration to the neighbouring pre-existing music venue.

“Consideration of noise was one of the planning conditions specified by MCC Planning department with the developer and is held on public record at MCC Planning portal.”

She also said that there have been no further noise complaints since the original complainant moved out of their flat. “It’s simply unacceptable for MCC to continue the premise that the responsibility for this planning mistake lies with the developer or builder.”

Responding to their claims, a spokesperson for Manchester City Council told NME: “The Council has sought throughout this process, for more than a year, to reach an amicable solution with Night & Day which enables them to remain commercially viable while recognising the needs of residents and our legal obligations.

“We remain absolutely committed to this goal but with a court hearing pending it would not be appropriate for us to comment further on this specific case.

“The city’s music venues are an important part of the fabric of the city, playing a vital role in the night-time economy and in creating opportunities for new artists.

“We will shortly be announcing details of a major new independent review into Manchester’s grassroots music venues and how the Council and its partners can better support and champion them while being considerate of residents and businesses and the Council’s legal responsibilities.”

The partner of the man who complained told a court back in December that he became a “recluse” due to the issue and claimed that he’d lost 30kg due to stress.