The Absurdity Of Noise Rules

There is a busker on the streets of Melbourne who brings his kitchen to work.

No amplification, no traditional musical instruments, just some pots, pans, random metallic boxes and drumsticks.

He proceeds to set the items up around him on the corners of streets and bangs on them for hours.

Admittedly, over the years, he developed a skill for it and a small enthusiastic crowd of drunks can often be seen dancing along to the frenzied speed drumming. All of this is un-amplified but resonantes spectacularly along the street.

The council makes a distinction between amplified music, non amplified music, street noise, construction noise and more.

On a recent visit to the newly opened Capitol Theatre I was told about the venue restrictions on playing amplified music past 11pm.

No amplified activity will be allowed past 11pm, period.

Even if it is just soft acoustic guitar.

It is utterly absurd that the council approved noisy overnight works affecting residents to build the theatre for over a year but have a rule that prevent amplified sound to be emitted from the same theatre during the same hours when residents are theoretically have a right for quite enjoyment of their residential space.

All one needs to make noisy works at night is simply to notify residents by dropping a leaflet in their mail box, but if one wishes to play guitar after 11pm, that’s a simple and sweeping no.

The Metro Tunnel Construction Orchestra and other Builder bands have been doing this for years. 

Drop a letter, don’t ask, tell the residents you are going to cut bluestone at 2 am outside their window, and just go for it.

The Kitchen drummer busker is much more polite than the builders and comply with 11pm rule, to clear the space for the Metro Tunnel construction orchestra to fill the stillness of the city night with songs of cutting, jackhammers, reversing trucks and flashing lights.

In contemporary music, construction tools are sometimes used as musical instruments. Can the council make the builders stop the music after 11pm too. Or alternatively, encourage the kitchen drummer to add some power tools to his setup and extend his operating hours on the weekend so he can reach a wider audience? Or start having events at the Capitol Theatre incorporating jack hammers as part of any presentation which seeks to extend beyond 11pm