In Music by Clyde Mooney

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A battle has been won in the fight for live music, as the Harold Park Hotel’s Sunday sessions return this weekend with the blessing of City of Sydney Council, after a month of media noise.

Will Ryan’s The Harold (HPH) hit the headlines last month after a complaint brought about the end of six years of live music in its courtyard on Sunday afternoons.

A new tenant to the building adjacent to the pub complained to City of Sydney (CoS) about the acoustic music from the courtyard permeating their apartment. Inspectors revealed the HPH did in fact not have the proper permits for hosting such events.

The pub has a reputation for live performance by renowned comedians and live bands, but owner Ryan said the Sunday sessions were “pretty laid back”.

CoS reported it was working with the HPH to resolve the issues, in line with its Live Music & Performance Action Plan, and a result has been achieved, with the live sessions able to resume this Sunday.

“[CoS] looked at potential ways to address the specific development consent condition that caused the issue for Harold Park Hotel, and strategies for working with the venue’s neighbours directly to resolve any future noise issues.”

Ryan told PubTIC the Council reported their revised arrangements mean they now comply with all necessary conditions.

“We’re very pleased to announce that the guys will be back this weekend at The Harold.

“Council were great with helping us reach a solution, and after a month’s quiet, we look forward to seeing Sam, Pat and Alex back on Sunday from 4pm.”

The issue of the shackles on live music has become something of a political football and both Labor and Liberal representatives visited the pub to weigh in. The Music reported that ALP official John Graham is proposing that venues should not need to seek Council permission to play acoustic music.

A statement out of CoS noted it “can’t make changes to development consent conditions” without formal request, but suggested venues looking to host performance should get in touch.

“We encourage venues that think they have outdated or unnecessary development consent conditions making it difficult to put on live music and performance to contact the City’s Strategy Advisor for Live Music and Performance to discuss what changes can be made and what support we can offer.

“While we have a statutory role as a regulator and planning consent authority, we prefer to work with venues to try and resolve problems without taking regulatory action.”

Mr Will Ryan