September 22, 2023
Music News

So It’s Okay to Annoy Your Neighbours with Loud Music As Long As It’s Opera?

We’ve all had them: the dirtbag neighbour who insists on playing their music at ear-splitting volumes all day and all night with a total disregard for everyone else. But does the music being played matter?

Anne Tipping is an opera fan who lives in Adelaide, Australia. Repeated complaints from neighbours prompted a police visit to her apartment to ask her–nicely, at first–to turn down her opera. Tipping, though, became hostile. Not only did she refuse to turn it down but she turned it up even louder before the police even had a chance to leave.

Charges were filed and she eventually plead guilty to “creating an environmental nuisance.” She then moved out of that building to another where her neighbour is a 92 year-old woman. The picks up the story.

[Magistrate Sue] O’Connor suggested that Tipping may not have broken any laws because no testing was undertaken to determine if the music being played was louder than the limit set by the Environment Protection Authority.

“I think SAPOL’s views in relation to noise pollution are underdone,” O’Connor said.

“There are state regulations as to how much noise you can emit at certain hours of the day, but at no time did SAPOL bring a noise meter or the EPA to test the levels, so it is not certain that you were breaching the law.

O’Connor went on to say she was “amazed” Tipping, who has reportedly been addressing an alcohol problem, was arrested following the complaints, but suggested it was brought on by her behaviour towards the police.

Question: If the person in question had been playing music other an opera, would he/she have escaped with zero consequences? Just asking.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37091 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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