Music venue’s support plea

Music lovers urged to start their nights out earlier to ensure a Honiton business survives.

A HONITON businesswoman is urging the community to keep supporting her bar to ensure live music plays on in the town.

Elaine Montgomery, the leaseholder of Montgomery’s Hotel and its in-house bar, The Orange Tree, has been forced to reduce the hours of live music entertainment in the bar following noise complaints.

After holding a meeting with representatives from East Devon District Council, she has agreed to finish live music at midnight.

However, this is a worrying prospect for Elaine, who fears her business may not be able to survive if people in the town do not support the bar and adapt to the change by starting their evenings earlier.

She said: “We have grown the business with live music five nights a week for very mixed age groups. We have received complaints about the music and are working to resolve the problem but, if we can’t, the business is gone – we would just be another bar in town.

“We have now agreed that the live music must end at midnight and we are quite happy to work with that, but we have to get local support.

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“If people don’t support us, there will be no live music. The business won’t survive if we don’t get people to come in earlier.

“I’ve done nothing but invest in this town, and feel like I have to continue to jump through hoops.”

The bar has been open for more than two years, and live music events attract both local bands and musicians from across the country.

Elaine said: “Please support live music at the Orange Tree and come out early, otherwise the music will go.

“It would have a knock-on effect and I am so concerned. I employ 15 people from Honiton and it would mean those jobs would be gone.

“Live music events are great for Honiton and are something different for the town, which also brings in business.”

A spokesman for East Devon District Council confirmed that, following complaints of loud music late at night from some local residents, measures had been put in place to deal with the issues.

He said: “We recently held a meeting with the licensee and agreed that live music is to be strictly controlled and to stop by midnight with immediate effect.

“Visiting bands are not to be permitted to use bass speakers.

“In-house music is to be strictly controlled, and a noise monitor installed so that it is barely audible beyond the boundary of the premises.

“All doors and windows are to be closed during any music event with immediate effect, and door staff are to monitor numbers outside and to be instructed to prevent groups of people congregating in the alleyway.”

He added: “We will be assessing the effectiveness of these control measures and will review the requirements if they do not resolve the problems.”