RUMOURS that the home of live music in Uttoxeter will be forced to scrap its entertainment roster have been rubbished by its owners.
Speculation has been rife that noise complaints have prompted council chiefs to order the Old Star to cancel its programme of live bands.
However, in an exclusive interview with the Advertiser, manager Erica Baxter set the record straight.
She said the Star had no plans to stop putting on gigs and expected to reach an agreement with licencing bosses in the coming weeks.
During the last 18 months, the Star has spearheaded a push for quality live music in Uttoxeter and its large outdoor stage attracts professional acts from across the UK.
It currently has a waiting list of 170 acts hoping to get a gig there.
But two resident complaints have prompted the council to issue a noise abatement order.
Ms Baxter said the Queen Street venue is ‘happy’ to work with East Staffordshire Borough Council to mitigate noise levels.
She said: She said: “We’ve had to put bands on inside of late, which isn’t ideal but shows how seriously we’re taking the council’s notice.
“We’ve already had some very productive talks with them and have meetings scheduled next week.
“We’re purchasing a new PA system, which we’re happy to set to a noise level agreed with the council.
“I’d just like to reassure music fans in Uttoxeter that we won’t stop putting on gigs.
“If the worst came to the worst and we had to stop shows outside, we’ve got a big room upstairs that, with a massive amount of work and investment, would be great for gigs.
“We’ve also discussed the possibility of finishing the music early as we usually do so at around 11.30pm to midnight.”
Ms Baxter told the Advertiser how important live music was to the pub and the town.
She said: “The quality of the music we put on brings people into the Star and into Uttoxeter.
“Quite often on a Saturday night I won’t recognise half the people in here because they’ve travelled to watch the band they follow.
“It’s great for the town, not just us, to be able to bring much-needed business here and we’re keen that there’s somewhere in town for music fans to have access to quality live acts.
“It’s a massive part of the pub but we appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and we know the people at the council are just doing their jobs.
“We’re very happy to co-operate with them to get the situation sorted.
“I’m sure an agreement can be reached that’s acceptable to us and the council.”
An East Staffordshire Borough Council spokesman said: “The council can confirm that an abatement notice has been served on the Old Star public house and that it is actively working with them to improve levels of noise.”