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Aberdeen club calls for lifting ban on background music in hospitality

Manager of Cheerz fears the ban on music may lead to permanent closure

By: Anttoni Numminen

Picture courtesy of S&G Aberdeen

An Aberdeen business’ petition to end the Scottish Governments ban on background music in the hospitality sector has gathered over 1,000 signatures.

The petition, started by George Mackenzie, the general manager of hospitality group S&G Aberdeen and manager of Cheerz nightclub, is calling for the coronavirus regulation to be changed because of the negative impact he says it has had on his business.

Cheerz announced last week that it would be closing from Sunday 30 August with the hope of reopening in the future as current restrictions “affect takings too harshly”.

In accordance with Scottish Government regulations pubs, restaurants and clubs have been banned from playing background music since 14 August 2020.

The rule which applies to background music and TVs in the hospitality industry has been implemented to “reduce the need for people to shout or lean into each other”.

Speaking to the Gaudie, Mackenzie said that over a normal weekend Cheerz would have about 400 customers. However, they had to adapt after the first lockdown, changing to a table only service with capacity cut to less than 50 people.

Things changed after Aberdeen’s local lockdown was lifted, said the manager, with the new restrictions on background music in place and the club seeing fewer customers it became financially unsustainable to remain open.

“It [regulation on background music] totally killed the mood and we started losing more than we were making, says Mackenzie.

Even with many students set to return to Aberdeen in September, Mackenzie says that as long as the rule which was put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 remains in place, it will not be financially viable to reopen the once-busy venue.


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