French DJs write letter in protest of government’s new sound restrictions
Various French DJs are uniting to protest the new sound restrictions recently imposed on the country’s nightclubs and music festivals. Following President Emmanuel Macron’s public health decree in August, nightclubs and festivals alike are expected to comply with the restrictions, which reduce maximum noise levels by three decibels, dropping the maximum noise allowance to 102 total decibels. The decree is also instituting restrictions on bass output.
The newly introduced sound limitations seek to reduce the risk of hearing problems caused by attendance at loud events, but a number of French dance music figures are voicing their opposition to restrictions. Laurent Garnier, Jean Michel Jarre, and several other artists signed on to the letter published by the French news source Libération, that states that the sound limitations will “…quiet down fun, muzzle music, and stop artistic work living in its physical dimension.”
The collaborative letter compares a bassline to a vocalist’s voice, noting that the bassline is “…just as keenly felt as a beautiful voice is by other music fans.” The artists rallying against the sound restrictions emphasize their shared sentiment that their “…artistic freedom is being sacrificed” as a result of the new limitations. French nightclubs are also joining the anti-sound restriction movement.
The artists that signed the published letter cautioned officials that the limitations might result in a decline in the number of people venturing out to nightclubs and festivals.