Au Revoir, Paris Nightlife

Noise ordinances strangle once-legendary music and party scene
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2009 10:33 AM CST
View of the French cabaret "Le Moulin Rouge" that celebrates its 120th anniversary, in Paris, Tuesday Oct. 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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(Newser) – Paris, a city whose decadent nightlife was once the stuff of legend, is looking more like a museum these days: pretty, quiet, and closed at night. Gentrification of former party neighborhoods has brought an influx of residents unwilling to put up with noise; resulting noise ordinances have caused music venues to shut down, lose their licenses, and pay hefty fines. Urgent action is needed to save the city's nightlife, says a petition by the electronic music industry.

The City of Light is turning into the "European capital of sleep" according to the petitioners, who demand public funding for high-quality soundproofing, the Guardian reports. But soundproofing may be too little, too late to stop a drain of talent: Many French musicians and DJs have already decamped for Berlin or London.