Live music will play for the final time at a Leeds music venue after fears that addressing its noise complaint problems could turn into a “bottomless pit”.
The owners of The Empire, near Leeds Bridge, were forced to call in acoustics experts to try and find a structural solution to complaints from neighbours, which had already resulted in a noise limiter being installed.
But without a guarantee that expensive work would solve the problem, the venue will host its last music gig on February 23 before closing as a bar in April.
Ben Dakin, the bar’s manager, told the YEP: “It’s a difficult time for live music but there are lots of good bands playing and hopefully they will find places to play.
“It is not quite too bad now, I was quite upset but there’s no point in getting angry about it.”
The 250-capacity venue, which opened in 2010, only had the limiter in place for a few weeks when brass-heavy indie band Benson had their gig switched off.
They abandoned their set after a trumpet repeatedly caused the limiter to cut off the power.
Hyde Park resident Rich Myers, a member of Benson, said: “If you are going to get bands coming out of Leeds you’re going to have to give them places to play.
“The venues that are a bit bigger are disappearing.”
He added that the closure of venues like The Empire means DIY gigs at smaller venues like The Packhorse, in Woodhouse, are becoming more and more popular.
The Empire’s final live gig will feature indie acts including The Plea and Invisible Hands. Tickets are free but must be ordered in advance.
The venue will still stage club nights and act as a bar until its closure in April.
Visit: www.empireleeds.co.uk for further information.