From Iceland — Art And Concert Venue Closes Due To Noise Complaints

Art And Concert Venue Closes Due To Noise Complaints

Published September 8, 2022

Photo by
Joana Fontinha

Residents of Skerjafjörður have repeatedly complained to the city authorities about the noise that has come from an art and concert venue located in an old bar. The City of Reykavík has now banned all events there, reports Vísir.

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The venue, called Tóma Rýmið, or Empty Space, is managed by the art collective, Klúbburinn. The art collective, Klúbburinn, leased the space from the City of Reykjavík through the art initiative (Skapandi Borg) that promotes art in the capital.

At the time of signing the contract, the group made it clear that the space will be used to hold concerts.

“It was assumed that this space was assigned to artists to practice and stage artistic events. It was in the contract,” says Urður Bergsdóttir, one of the people in charge of Empty Space.

In the last year and a half, the venue hosted all kinds of concerts, raves, and theater productions.

“I think this is a unique place in the art scene. We provide a space for many projects that could probably not find a place anywhere else, projects that are first presented here,” says musician Diego Manatrizio, who organised events in the space.

However, according to the City of Reykjavík, the art collective never applied for the necessary permits to hold events.

Residents in the area have repeatedly complained about noise from the venue late at night, and therefore the collective has been banned from hosting any events until the required permits are obtained.

It is clear that a lot of construction work will have to be done on the building in order for such permission to be granted. The art collective cannot afford the construction work as all of the events they hosted were non-profit.

“If we can’t get help from the city, we’ll just have to close this business,” says Birnir Jón Sigurðsson, a member of the collective.

Members of the collective say that they have not received direct complaints from residents, but they take them seriously and are ready to make improvements in order to keep all their activities going.

They hope that the city will step in and provide them with the necessary funds to improve the building and make it suitable for events.

“We just implore the city: Help, please,” says Urður.

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