Balancing the needs of a diverse community is always a challenge but it is one that Matt Rabbidge and Luke Sullivan, owners of the Eltham Hotel just 15 minutes from Lismore, are determined to do following noise complaints about music at the pub.
Following complaints from some neighbours in the vicinity of the pub noise limits have been imposed. This has led to the cancellation of Caitlin Harnett and Pony Boys, and Bones and Jones who were scheduled to play. Those gigs have now relocated to the Byron Bay Bowls Club.
They are currently appealing the decision and look forward to resolving the noise issues with the community while continuing to run a dynamic pub and venue.
‘We are really proud of what we do here,’ Matt told The Echo.
‘But we are aware we are making noise and we want to work on a compromise. We want to operate as a pub and hope to do some live music. We do a range of events here from “Science in the pub” to NORPA theatre, folk and blues music – this space holds relevance as a cultural hub for all.’
In the social media post announcing the cancellation of live music this weekend they highlighted that ‘Live music everywhere, particularly in regional areas is incredibly important and must be supported’.
They also pointed out that bringing the bands to the pub supplied more employment in a range of sectors, from extra staff at the pub and local accommodation rentals, to the musicians themselves and their support staff including managers and sound engineers.
‘We know how lucky we are to be able to run such a great venue,’ said Matt.
‘The pub has a great history of music and events. While we are disappointed and we are appealing the process, we know where we are located and there is a middle ground and we want to work on a compromise. We are first to admit that we didn’t get it right in the first instance but are looking to continue working with the community.’