Fundraising gig hopes to save live music at The Farmer's Boy

The Farmer's Boy in St Albans.

The Farmer's Boy in St Albans. - Credit: Archant

A benefit gig is taking place this weekend to save one of St Albans' best-loved pubs.

The Farmer's Boy faces a massive legal bill to fight an abatement order from St Albans district council over excessive noise from live gigs.

The London Road boozer has been promoting live music for the past 14 years, with gigs in their beer garden every Saturday afternoon between 2.30-5pm, but the order threatens continued performances and puts the very future of the pub at risk.

The benefit gig is this Friday from 8-11pm and includes performances from Los Chicos Muertos and The Tuesday Club. It aims to raise £2,000 towards getting the order removed.

Landlady Ros Kintu said they had taken various measures to restrict disruption from performances including acoustic quilts to restrain levels, monitoring noise levels and encouraging bands to bring in smaller amps.

But following persistent complaints from one neighbour, the district council said it had a legal duty to serve the order: “Our investigations confirmed noise could be heard in one property with the windows closed and was audible despite a TV being on.

“We have had discussions about the issue with the pub in question and suggested measures to keep the noise down. Unfortunately, the noise has remained at a level that could be considered a statutory nuisance."

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Ros said: "This fund-raising gig has been organised by local musicians, and we didn't know anything about it until they approached us with everything ready to go. They have also organised a raffle with some fantastic prizes to raise money to help with legal fees for us to go to court.

"The appeal has to be made through the magistrates’ court, which we are doing in the hope that they will remove this order.

"Without its removal our Saturday afternoon live music events remain in jeopardy, which will have the knock on effect of putting our future of running the pub also at risk.

"Ironically, one of the alternatives would be to show sport in the garden instead, which would probably be more be intrusive on our neighbours."

Messages of support have been posed on the JustGiving site, including John Thomson, who said: "It seems that the success, and even existence of a great, long term music pub venue can be threatened by a small number of people who probably moved into the area only recently, and now object to this in 'their back yard'."

And Graham Lennon added: "We all have a right to fair and peaceful use of our property - everybody understands and expects that. However, this must be judged against the rights of an existing business to freely enjoy their activities in a legal, traditional and professional way. Living in a busy town centre comes with certain expectations that there will be some noise and disturbance on a busy Saturday afternoon."

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