Saturday, February 06, 2016

Authorities ban 'silent discos' over noise concerns

Authorities in Lausanne, Switzerland, have quashed a proposal for outdoor “silent disco” events in the city centre because of concerns they would be too noisy. Organisers of the events, where participants dance to music listened to on wireless headphones, had wanted to hold them on the terrace and rooftop of bistros in the Flon nieghbourhood on June 12th and September 4th. The events were to run until 5am.

Similar events have been held in the nearby municipality of Pully, run by Olivier Meylan, the director of the unfortunately named For Noise Festival. Meylan submitted an application with the support of Mobimo, the owner of the property where the bistros are located, and a recommendation from the municipality of Pully. However, the city’s business regulation department turned down the proposal, a decision that cannot be appealed.

“Since 2014 numerous complaints from neighbours have been lodged,” Florence Nicollier, head of the department said. “They involve noise problems caused by musical events and other activities taking place on terraces of establishments in the Flon neighbourhood and the Place de l’Europe, in particular those on rooftops,” Nicollier said. Apparently, the concern with “silent discos” is that they are not that silent, since participants often sing along to the music.

“During silent discos, the noise caused by the clientele is not negligible,” Nicollier said. As a result, the city has decided to ban such events. Event organiser Meylan did not hide his disappointment. “Given our experience in the neighbouring municipality of Pully, we should have been able to at least try a test in the centre of Lausanne and take stock afterward, but no,” he said. “There is now a lack of original events in this city that are, however, popular with young adults.”

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