MARGEAUX ERASMUS

Bravo’s Pizzeria, the popular student restaurant situated inSouth Street, is allegedly being intimidated by UP security to cease their Wednesday night live music events.

Tensions have arisen between Bravo’s and the UP Security Department over the last six months, leading to the cancellation of the popular pizzeria’s Wednesday night performance evenings. Owner of Bravo’s, Dean Marais, told Perdeby last week that there is a law suit pending against them. He suspects that theUniversity ofPretoria is one of the complainants. Bravo’s Pizzeria has been subject to numerous Metro Police visits on suspicion of drugs and alcohol being served on the premises. None of the allegations have ever been found true. The Bravo’s team believes that these allegations came from UP. Music manager, Daniel Knoetze, says that this has led to less clients coming to the pizzeria.

According to Marais, the live performances have always complied with the law, as Bravo’s had a licence to play live music until 11pm on Wednesday nights. However, due to the legal action being taken against Bravo’s, this license has been suspended.

Dean Marais’s mother, Marthé Marais, said that they had previously called in a professional to measure the sound levels of their music shows, which have never reached the 95 decibel (dB) limit that they were licenced for. On several occasions, Gilbert Dekenah, a sound specialist from Geraasbeheer en Omgewing Spesialis, came to test the noise level in the evenings. Marthé Marais says that they never exceeded 75 dB, which is lower than the 80 dB of noise that can be heard from the kerb of a busy road.

In response to the allegations, the Universityof Pretoriatold Perdeby that residents of UP accommodation have complained about noise levels coming from Bravo’s on Wednesday nights. University management said, “The premises of Bravo’s Pizzeria are not zoned as a place of entertainment and may not host weekly events like these.”

University management added, “The university has a responsibility to act in the best interests of its students and employees and for this reason UP will take all necessary steps to protect their interests.”

Earlier in the year, UP successfully took similar action against Hatfield area bars Aandklas and Springbok Bar.

Knoetze says that residents of the area are always made aware of performances before they take place. He added that UP students are the pizzeria’s main clients and they do not want to interfere with any study time that these clients may need.

Knoetze also said that the Bravo’s team is trying to create a platform from which up and coming bands can launch themselves, but this is being hindered by the action being taken against them. “In Pretoria there is a need for an acoustic venue,” he said.  “We are trying to do something good for students.”

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