The cost of silencing rowdy Aberdeen revellers has been revealed – as a city centre nightclub fronts up to noise complaints.
Nox Nightclub on Justice Mill Lane reopened last February after two years of coronavirus lockdowns prompted its closure.
The busy Aberdeen street is home to numerous nightspots.
But it also links the bustle of the city centre with nearby residential areas in Bon Accord Terrace and Hardgate.
Nearby residents – who had grown used to the peace and quiet the pandemic brought with it – quickly became frustrated with the noise revellers brought with them.
But quick-thinking club bosses at Nox have now revealed the “amazing difference” a quirky new approach has made to turn the volume down…
‘Savage rows’ keeping residents up: Nox nightclub revellers won’t split quickly enough
Nationally, industry lawyers reported an uptick in noise complaints as late-night businesses began to reopen.
Problems around Nox came to a head last March when council licensing officers, police and club management met with residents to discuss what they called “significant anti-social behaviour”.
Speaking about the need to disperse people quickly and quietly after closing, Bon Accord Terrace resident Rodrigo Rendon said: “At nighttime, from Thursday evening until the early hours of Sunday morning, crowd dispersion outside Nox is the root cause.”
He and his “anxious” neighbours were fighting plans for a new bench, which they feared would encourage people to dwell in the early hours.
Next door, Karen McCormack said: “The noise from the surrounding venues is an issue but the biggest problem we face is people not dispersing when the venues close.
“Instead intoxicated people stay and make lots of noise in the wee hours of the morning – disrupting our sleep, particularly my younger son.
“Couples seem to choose just under his bedroom window to have savage rows.”
Feast your eyes on Nox nightclub’s solution: ice lollies
However, the Nox owners appear to have the problem licked now, as punters swap champagne magnums for the Wall’s equivalent.
The solution – at least during the summer months – is ice lollies.
Louise Maclean, business development director with club operators Signature Pub Group, said her initial response to noise complaints is usually the same.
“Absolutely ridiculous! We have been here for years. Tell them to poke it!” she told a recent summit hosted by the Night-Time Industries Association Scotland (NTIAS).
However, she was quick to add that her lawyers always steer her towards common ground with the concerned residents.
“It’s about listening to the other side, trying to be reasonable and finding a practical solution,” Ms Maclean added.
Her Scotland-wide company, which also owns nearby Paramount and The Spiritualist in Aberdeen, found the fix over the first post-Covid summer.
Their customers would not scream due to ice cream.
“We started handing out ice lollies at 3am, because if someone has something in their mouth, they can’t be talking. They certainly can’t be shouting,” she laughed.
“So now, even at our two late-night venues, you get handed a sweet or something to chew on. It’s amazing the difference it has made.”