It’s the beginning of the end for Istanbul’s famous night life, some say. The municipality has announced that they want to reduce the noise pollution that night clubs alongside the Bosporus create, and make them turn off all the music after midnight. You see, the Bosporus has two sides when it comes to music and dance. One: it offers a spectacular background for trendy clubs right by the water, like Reina, the most famous one. Two: the sound carries all the way to the Anatolian side of town, where people are annoyed by the music going on till the morning on weekends.
Forcing the clubs to turn the music off after midnight – that is, around the time night life is just starting– doesn’t seem very realistic. At least, not on every weekend night. Usually the dancing goes on till the early morning hours, and you can’t just kill that thriving, famous culture. On the other hand, I know people who go crazy from the noise three, four nights a week during the summer, and a city government cannot just close its eyes to that either.
By the way, certain cynics say that this is just a way for the AKP-controlled municipal government to bring night life to an end: tackling noise pollution is just another excuse to close the clubs down altogether because night clubbing is against Islam. Istanbul mayor Topbas denies this of course. He says it’s very normal all around the world to take noise pollution into account in making rules for night life. I’m sure it is.
I wonder what compromise will be found. I’ll keep you posted: I plan on going to Reina one of these weekends, and to be honest, I hope to keep on dancing after midnight!
An interesting story comes from Greece on operating hours of clubs and night entertainment venues.
In general Greeks live after-hours. An average Greek eats dinner at around 10 p.m. and goes out for night entertainment at around midnight.
Well the rules should be accordingly, right? But they are not!
Every “dimos” or township has its own rules depending on the area and sound insulation level of the venue. But the general rule in Athens is in winter weekdays they could be loud until 10:00 p.m. and in summer until 11:00 p.m. On the weekends it is allowed only until 01:00 a.m. Most are not even open at these hours yet.
Permits usually depend on the level of sound insulation on a case by case basis. In islands and villages entertainment is either located out of town or insulated throughly.
The reality is the clubs are open with very loud music until the sun comes up, when they force the patrons to go and have some sort of breakfast, cheesepies, tripe soup or something of the kind so they can go and have some sleep.
Colombia’s capital Bogotá has a different pattern, partly due to the fact that at 6 it gets dark, always. So the time to go and have a drink and/or dance is earlier. At 3 in the morning the bars have to close. Of course Colombia wouldn’t be Colombia if some places didn’t find a solution for that ;-). But their situation improved after former mayor Antanas Mockus left in 2004: he had imposed ‘the carrot hour’. Bars had to close at 1.
About the noise, yes, there are neighbourhoods that have trouble, but it depends on the people and the bartenders.