Cafe fined for playing records too loud



During a smoking ban check last week, a cafe owner in Rotterdam was asked by a city inspector to stop playing vinyl records, claiming the music was too loud. Too loud is if people cannot have a conversation because the music is not background music anymore, which is a subjective measure and a distinct possibility. An objective measure is a dBA loudness meter with a display that cafes are not required to have.

The owner Jos Hoebe claims the inspector was looking for an excuse to nail him for something since nobody was smoking inside and decided that spinning records was ‘live music’ and therefore the cafe needs an extra permit to stay open longer. If the inspector fined the cafe for loud music, that would stick, but exacerbating the problem by singling out records as live music made Hoebe go to the media. It seems the inspector is taunting the cafe owner and in the case of the records, the inspector was making it up completely.

The inspector could have given the cafe a warning or had a productive chat instead. Hoebe asked if he could play CDs to which the inspector said that was fine, then Hoebe asked what the difference was and didn’t get an answer. Hoebe plans to see the municipal music aficionado in court.

(Link:, tip Weirdomusic)

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