The UK’s longest running, weekly reggae night, whose organisers played a key role in promoting the Commonwealth Games, has been cancelled due to noise. Complaints from a neighbour about noise, have led the council to advise restrictions which make running the Birmingham event “difficult”.
Jam Jah Sound is a well-loved institution and attracts performers from around the world to play a popular gig every Monday in south Birmingham. Its organisers Robin Giorno and Damon Wilding are two members of Friendly Fires Band, whose single ‘It’s a Brum Ting’ is on the official Commonwealth Games album On Record.
On Record features eleven tracks from different local artists. The Commonwealth Games website describes it as: “A sonic love letter to the city of Birmingham” and “an introduction to the city, its people and its music for those who are only just getting to know us”.
But the love ends there as the council has placed controls on Jam Jah, which was held at The Station pub on Mondays between April and July. Before Covid, it was held at the Dark Horse in Mosley, but that pub changed direction, and it took a while for Jam Jah to find a suitable new home.
The last night Jam Jah took place was April 4 before a complaint about noise from a nearby resident led the council to step in with restrictions. These included an earlier finishing time, a ban on using outside space, and a requirement for all doors to be closed throughout.
Robin aka Robbie Don, 42, said: “It made it difficult to run and it’s a shame. We feel like the Commonwealth Games has really benefited us and we were really looking forward to being able to demonstrate this.
“Jam Jah has a real vibe, with a lot of people coming together and it really impresses people. Having that in the middle of the games would have been great, because [the council have] been saying ‘during the games, we’re going to be really lenient with licences because we really want to create a vibe in Birmingham’.
“Well, we’ve got a vibe! We run this thing on a Monday night, in this area, and it’s vibrant.
“This is exactly what you’re trying to showcase, yet we got shut down. Obviously it’s different departments; the noise abatement people and the Commonwealth Games Festival are different things, but from the city’s point of view it’s kind of self-defeating.
“It kind of poses the question: what do you really want out of this thing? And maybe people need to get involved.
“Yeah, it’s great to be able to go to the international community, and say ‘we’re Birmingham, we’ve got the Games’, but you know, there’s a lot of stuff that’s already happening here that is kind of struggling to shine.”
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “Our Environmental Health team received a call from a resident who is affected by noise from the Station pub late at night and into the early hours.
“An abatement notice hasn’t been issued at this stage over the matter but the premises have been advised, in case there is something obvious they have changed that is leading to these complaints. We will see if this can be resolved locally between the premises and resident, however if that’s not possible we will investigate this complaint further.”
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