In rapid fire, the Mayor’s office has launched several controversial initiatives to cut the noise in Nice.
First, last year’s rules on street musicians are starting to be enforced: No more speakers (yea!), musicians must be pre-approved for quality, can only play during specified hours, and only in designated places like Place Massena, Cours Saleya, etc. Whereas the new rules will spare us all a lot of grief from the many horrible buskers, the rules will also put a major crimp on the many talented musicians. The first casualty: the fantastic Piano Man, Steve Villa-Massone left Nice last year in protest when the rule was first made.
Next is the new Open-air Alcohol Ban that prohibits drinking in the streets, beaches and parks from 8pm-5am. This could cut down on late-night drunken singing and fights, which would be a good thing. But what about beach picnics? Are we expected to forgo the wine?! Evidently the rule will be selectively enforced, so if you are not breaking bottles or playing the tom-toms late into the night, the patrols should let you be.
The most controversy has come over the Noisy Wedding Ban. Eastern European and North African wedding traditions include driving through town with flags flying and honking madly as if their country just won the World Cup… and with 30 weddings a day on the weekends, this gets really tiresome. The new ban went into effect last weekend, and prohibits raucous weddings, excessive honking, and disrupting traffic… all of which actually seemed on the rise last weekend! Opponents mounted a clever protest: a silent wedding, and are busy trying to find photos of Mayor Estrosi’s own wedding to see if it indulged in any of the forbidden acts!
All of these new rules have many people up in arms: is a less noisy Nice worth becoming a Nanny State? Will licensing street musicians kill the spontaneity that buskers embody? Are these new rules crossing the line of personal freedom? What do you think?
Photo credit: Silent wedding courtesy of Philippe Biancheri; Busker by Best of Nice Blog
Nice-Matin: A compter du 1er avril, l’alcool sera hors la loi au centre-ville de Nice, Un faux mariage silencieux pour protester contre l’arrete d’Estrosi, Metro France: Les artistes de rue dans la collimateur