The People of Scotland Lodge Noise Complaint Against Silent Discos
"The music may be silent, but the people aren't"
Published Nov 27, 2018In case you didn't realize, so-called "silent discos" are an unfortunate part of modern living, but they might not be as silent as you'd expect. In fact, according to the Scottish city of Edinburgh, they are anything but silent, and the Scottish capital is now looking to crack down on the walking dance-mob parties for being too damn loud.
Despite silent discos being dance parties where participants listen to music on headphones rather than via a speaker system, the increasingly popular events have led to a wave of noise complaints in Edinburgh. So much so, in fact, that city council is now stepping in to regulate the silent discos, which have been serving as walking/dancing tours of Edinburgh's various tourist spots.
"You've got people walking about and suddenly they break into dance to music you can't hear," Edinburgh Coun. Jo Mowat told CBC's As It Happens. "The music may be silent, but the people aren't — and underneath your window when you've got a fairly small flat, that's maybe something that is bit difficult to live with when it's happening three or four times a day."
In addition to silent disco participants making a ton of noise, they apparently also are causing chaos on the streets by blocking both pedestrians and traffic.
"At the moment, it's a bit unregulated," Mowat said. "People are pouring into the market because it's a big market for them, and like so often in local government, we're running and playing catch-up to try and make this still a great place to live."
At this point, it's a bit unclear how the events would be regulated, but it may require tour operators to get licences or enact rules about tour numbers and routes.
In an emailed statement to CBC, one silent disco operator in Edinburgh called Silent Adventures said, "We have developed an incredible reputation in the city for fun, family tours for locals and tourists alike. Our tours offer a unique family activity that are, for the most-part, widely embraced by the Edinburgh's residents and help add to the capital's vibrant reputation."
The company said it plans to meet next with Edinburgh City Council next week to discuss the issue.