A new entry in the long line of stories about the social usefulness of classical music. This time from London's Telegraph newspaper.
In an effort to cut down on public rowdiness after bars close, an area of northwest London is playing classical music to patrons after last call. According to the Telegraph:
A spokesman for Brent council said that the "quirky" new approach had been shown to work in American towns. "There is research that shows if you can calm people down before they leave the premises there is much less chance that they will fight in the streets," he said. "We are not certain it's going to work but it has been used in certain US cities and it has been reasonably effective."
No citation in the story for which American cities are doing this, but...okay, I'll bite. Continue!
Bars and pubs in the Neasden Circle area will fund the tea, coffee, biscuits and other snacks, which are intended to stagger the closing time surge for cabs home, but the council will contribute to extra staffing costs. Other measures to be adopted by the council include increasing police patrols and targeting shops selling booze to under-age drinkers. Councillor Hayley Matthews, lead member for crime and community safety at Brent council, said: "We will improve things in this area, hopefully though persuasion but if necessary we are prepared to get tough on both retailers and drinkers." This is the latest in a series of creative new tactics adopted by councils to curb late night rowdiness. Drinkers in Bolton will be given free bubble blowers by police to stop them getting into fights, while police in Devon plan to hand out flip flops to help drunk woman walk home.
Flip flops - from 2004 campaign prop to 2008 public transportation.
And as for classical music calming drunks down - I don't buy it. The Rite of Spring sure wouldn't help. And I'd bet that Enya would.
Music has the power to change whatever mood you happen to have been in - If you're in a club with four-on-the-floor thumpin, and you go outside and there are chill sitars oozing out of the speakers, it could be something of a buzzkill, no?
Posted by alex | December 5, 2008 8:32 AM