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Music Riots In the Park

A group of musicians and their fans engaged in a scuffle Sunday with Leisure and Cultural Services Officers, responding to noise complaints and trying to shut down their performance in Tuen Mun Park.

Was this a group of young, hip, funky musicians and their rowdy, beer-soaked fans? No. These musicians are well into senior status as are their fans and they play and dance to Chinese Folk Music.

The government has proposed moving the concerts indoors but, of course, that would destroy the ambience. It has also suggested two areas where non-amplified music can be played but the only times available were 2:00 to 5:00 PM on weekends so the musicians turned them down.

What am I missing here? I remember when the Hong Kong Stadium was eliminated as a concert venue because of the complaints of a small minority of neighbors. I lived near the stadium and loved hearing the music. We are all losers because we can’t attend open-air concerts, a benefit of living in most large cities.

What on earth can the music be interrupting on a weekend afternoon? Is it just that the neighbors complain because they can or what? We live on a busy street and the taxi drivers love to honk their horns at all hours. We shut the windows and turn on our white noise machine which works just fine.

Is the sound of Chinese folk music worse than the sound of jackhammers and other machinery used in construction and refurbishments. Why doesn’t the government do something about that? See “Refurbishment Blues”.

I am saddened at the thought of people, so unhappy with their situation that they complain about the noise of live folk music in a public park, thereby ruining the fun of senior citizens doing nothing more than enjoying themselves with music and dancing. How small these people’s minds must be.

There’s got to be a solution. Living in the urban jungle is tough enough. Anything as spontaneous and worthwhile as the Tuen Mun Park concerts should be encouraged not shut down.