City of Split Bans Music in Outdoor Terraces of Center after 11:30 pm on Weekdays

Daniela Rogulj

Just after the City of Split decided on a rather controversial decision for catering businesses, which clearly defines that at 11:30 pm on weekdays in the peak season, music in the outdoor areas of a bar, cafe, or restaurant must be turned off, an anonymous caterer sent a public letter to the competent authorities, asking them to review the legality of such a decision.

It was to be expected that some owners of Split cafes, restaurants, and bars would not rush to begin implementing the new law, because turning off the speakers in the city center a half an hour before midnight wouldn’t exactly bring in any more business. However, the time has finally come.

Thus, Slobodna Dalmacija decided to take on the new law first hand and embarked on a ‘super tour’ of the town 10 minutes before the clock struck midnight. 

The popular portal did not intend on walking to every business in the city center, but followed the sounds on a tour that lasted just 20 minutes, which they claimed was more than enough.

Slobodna started their tour in an area that receives the most complaints about loud music – the terrace of the Tourist Palace and the nearby InBox cafe.

Both of these buildings continued as if the provision did not exist.

They then moved down the Riva only to find that local hotspot Antique was operating as if it was a weekend, not a working day.

It was a little quieter in the nearby restaurant Adriana, though the music continued to play just before midnight.

While there was no noise at Voćni trg, Slobodna continued to Pjaca, where the music brought them behind the old City Hall, where popular bar Gaga continued to operate as usual with their outdoor speakers.

And finally, around the corner on Ulica Petra Kružića, while no music could be heard outside, the bars were full of locals and tourists which created its own noise.

In an invitation to the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Ivan Malenica, Minister of Administration, Gari Cappelli, Minister of Tourism, and Nediljka Vuko, head of the County Office of the State Administration, anonymous caterers urged their immediate response to prevent the decision-making on the catering activity of the City of Split.

It requires that the competent institutions carry out oversight over the constitutionality and legality of the decision and remove the established irregularities, as well as the supervision of the city administration and the City Council.

In their public address, the caterers warn that the City of Split may be sued in court proceedings, whose costs would then be paid by the citizens. As the reason for the public letter, they state that the noise is within the competence of the Law on Noise Protection and not the Law on Catering.

Because of the same noise problems, Barcelona introduced surveillance in 2006, while, for example, Dubrovnik and Venice banned the use of the speakers in the outdoor areas of catering businesses.

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