Like any city worth its salt, New Orleans has an image to maintain. The Big Easy has plenty to show off, but it may very well be the sounds that entice more than the sights; it’s a city that takes pride in the music festivals it regularly plays host to. Incidentally, that music feeds into a problem that’s begun to crop up — and now government officials are trying to sort it out.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, the plan is to try and lower the overall volume of the music played on the city streets. It won’t be done with a strict ban or sudden arrests, though; the “Sound Check” campaign will teach performers about the health risks associated with loud music, while the decibel levels will be monitored by on-hand inspectors. Given the city’s character, a sudden crackdown is the last thing anyone wants.
It’s an issue that needs sorting out, though. Even without the threat of health hazards, excessive noise has led to lawsuits against performers and organizations who couldn’t keep it down; that in turn can and has discouraged live performances. Hopefully the officials and the performers can strike a good balance, because it would be a shame of the streets of New Orleans went silent.