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Dublin business group objects to Council's Christmas music plan saying it would create a 'cacophony' of 'sonic conflict'

The Council has proposed piloting a radio messaging and Christmas music programme in the Grafton Street area for six weeks starting in early December.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

A BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE group in Dublin has raised objections to a pilot project by Dublin City Council to play on-street Christmas music saying it would lead to a “cacophony” and “sonic conflict” on the streets of the capital.  

The Council has proposed piloting a radio messaging and Christmas music programme in the Grafton Street area for six weeks starting in early December. 

The project – which is estimated to cost €25,000 – will see Christmas music and Public Health messaging played from speakers on five sidestreets off Grafton Street; Harry Street, Suffolk Street, Duke Street, South Anne Street and Chatham Row.

In an email to the Council in early November, local business group DublinTown said it did not think the scheme would find support among businesses off Grafton Street. 

The group said that businesses in the area already play Christmas music and said it was unclear from the proposal how noise conflict could not arise. 

The group added that there were already concerns from businesses about the impact of buskers, on-street charities and queuing over the festive period and said the idea of playing on-street Christmas music “would create some measure of cacophony or sonic conflict”. 

The streets in question “have a high concentration of businesses who will almost be wholly reliant on outdoor seating for their trade and they may well have their own plans about the music and atmosphere they wish to create,” a representative of DublinTown said in an email to the Council.  

The Council has proposed that the equipment for playing music will be attached to lamp posts in the area and with agreement from local businesses. 

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A spokesperson for the Council said: “The purpose of the radio messaging is to create an enjoyable atmospheric environment for retail shoppers in the area, through low level background Christmas music and in addition a series of safety messaging will be broadcast reminding shoppers to be Covid compliant.

The Council has contracted RadioBox, an audio brand for in-store music, to carry out the pilot. 

“As part of this strategy the organisers, RadioBox, are currently engaging in a consultation process with local businesses in the area, to ascertain their views on the proposal, times of broadcast, and location of infrastructure,” they said. 

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