Carlos Santana: Too Noisy in Boise

by Todd Wiese and David R. Parvo

Several R.O.C. readers from Boise, Idaho brought to our attention an incident that involves an increasingly popular ordinance: restricting excessive noise. Several weeks ago, Carlos Santana went to Boise to perform, oblivious of the ordinance. When his show ran past the 10:00 curfew, the promoter of the show and the venue were ticketed by police for violating the noise ordinance. Never mind that Carlos and the band had already signed a contract to play in Boise BEFORE this law went into effect. Let's face it, traveling musicians don't usually study the local law books before coming to town to do a show. To add to this fiasco, the law has been amended to exclude sports events, effectively making this ordinance anti-music.

Even though the musician in this incident was not cited for violating the noise ordinance, it is only a matter of time before that does occur. Regulations like this simply pave the way for more repressive legislation; they are a harbinger for the future, a future where all "noise" is regulated, with those that are "offensive to local sensibilities" banned and the performers jailed. By excluding sporting events illuminates the selective enforcement of this law and shows the type of "noise" they are truly worried about--music! The lawmakers of Boise must be a bunch of potato heads to come up with legislation such as this. Rock Out Censorship maintains that such noise ordinances are already unconstitutional in nature, but you really slap the First Amendment in the mouth by making selective exceptions for sporting events.

To show your disapproval of this repressive and selectively enforced noise ordinance in Idaho, please use the contacts provided below and tell them that they can't be selective with free speech. One man's noise is another man's music.

Ada County Board of Commisioners
Vern Bisterfeldt, Roger Simmons, Frank Walker
700 W. Jefferson, 2nd Floor
Boise, Idaho 83720
phone: 208-364-2333

Governor Philip E. Batt
P.O. Box 83720
fax: 208-364-2331
phone: 208-334-2100
to send email, use:

This form of legislation is becoming more common. If your town has one of these noise ordinances, please fill out an INCIDENT REPORT and let us know.

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