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I'm finally grounded after 10 days of loud music torture here in Chapala. Expo has ended and the 8-12 hours of music from 4pm til 4am or thereabouts is over. This is the same technique the CIA uses to drive people crazy like Panamas Noriega or Wacos David Koresh! Entertainment for 100 or so people that disturbs and denies a decent night sleep to thousands. The noise sweeps over the entire Plaza de Toros Barrio and up the hills. Two or three tuba bands, then a headliner that comes on 11pm or later, usually later. Noise til 2 or 3 AM, then a few drunks left in the stands to mouth off or some kid practicing being a disc jockey. It's torture. Doesn't the neighbors of the Chapala bull ring do enough for the community? We host the Monday Tianguis for petes sake! Thrn too Chapala hosts endless weekend tourist activities, we are here for your holidays too. And yet for the diversion of a few the many are denied sleep or comfortable use of their homes!...? How much productivity is lost to nights of just a few hours sleep.? Its not just the gringo who is upset, my Mexican neighbors have had enough too. And I know those who live by the Park Christiana feel the same; thousands tortured for the diversion of a small number of out of towners who come so late to the events no local merchants prosper. Who really profits? An out of town promoters takes control of the lives of large segments of the local population, tortures them for his profit. Why do we put up with that?

I know Ajijic suffers from the same problems. Somehow we have to push back against the forces that would turn all of Lakeside into some destination tourist zone with complete contempt for those who are residents here. Can something be done to regulate or need this torture!? Can we at least stop all activity at midnight!? Limit the number of continous days? Set limits on music volume.!? Lakeside is first and foremost residential, economically and culturally so let's respect the people who live here!

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mexart, my mex friend in chapala has to leave for work @ 8am. her boys go to school, do homework. they are not out @ night. others have to open businesses. normal people are going crazy. sleezepit lowlife innercity. worst element of people. blame the politicans who get paid to issue permits or look the other way. it wont change, this is the destiny for the area. its mostly a poor & the residents dont have much power. i am tired of expats using this as cheap entertainment. 

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I always advise people coming in to really evaluate residential locations for noise.  Unfortunately that doesn't always work as it may be quiet when you move there and then, for example, some bad restaurant on your street may decide there's more money in noise and booze.  Or our friendly and helpful municipal government may decide to start selling permits for raves in the public parks, playing fields, or bull rings.

This place has become a south suburb of GDL and the areas where it is not very noisy seem to be shrinking.  For the most part, the problem remains concentrated in and immediately around the village centers so that still leaves the option of living further out.  Friend of mine recently made that move, trading the walkability of village life for more peace and quiet in a fracc.

This municipality has been looted and mismanaged by successive administrations to the point where there is a mad scramble to get money where ever they can.  What you are hearing is at least somewhat due to that situation.  Until and unless the voters really elect an alternative to the same old same old, like they did in GDL, you can't expect to see anything but more of the same IMO.

There's nothing we can do about it.  The local Mexican voters are going to have to get fed up like they did in GDL.   

 

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To the OP, wow, I sincerely feel your pain.  Those marathon banda blasts used to be just around Carnaval time, but to do that all over again is ridiculous!  If the turnout was poor, hopefully that will discourage a repeat performance!  Money is the bottom line in these commercial events which are not traditional fiestas put on by the people.  I agree with MC above.  

Please see my comments on the music/noise issues on the SA Plaza thread, I don't want to repeat myself.

MC, what is happening in GDL as you mentioned?

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the developers had plans years ago i read. big plans. one project did not happen: theme parks along the lake. not sure of the location. that means amusment parks bringing 10,000 people on good days. (so the artical said). they talked about "job creation". i hate that word, it never amounts to anything good. just a con to rationalize. hope this does not happen in your lifetime. what did happen was the walmart. small patatoes next to whats coming down the pike.

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my husband and I for years even in the U.S. sleep with one of those "box square fans" walmart about $15 US.  there is a low speed, medium and high.  It works as "white noise"  We live in Riberas fairly close to an event center....when the music is loud we simply turn the fan to the high, face it to the wall so it doesnt blow right on us and we dont hear a THING !!!!  Sleep like babies !!!!  Especially if we put it  close to the bed and our ears.

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isnt it terriffic that old folks (w/out hearing problems) have to be tortured? they spend their days figuring out how to blockout the noise here. i dont live near music but its bad in its own way. closing windows helps. so i spend my old age getting lots of exercise. opening & closing windows. as soon as i sit down it close time again. they sure love machines here. i think they do it for fun. even the refridge wont shut up.

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1 hour ago, sputnik said:

my husband and I for years even in the U.S. sleep with one of those "box square fans" walmart about $15 US.  there is a low speed, medium and high.  It works as "white noise"  We live in Riberas fairly close to an event center....when the music is loud we simply turn the fan to the high, face it to the wall so it doesnt blow right on us and we dont hear a THING !!!!  Sleep like babies !!!!  Especially if we put it  close to the bed and our ears.

Unfortunately, "white noise" doesn't work for everyone. To me, white noise is just more noise.

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My I respectfully suggest that those of you who are bothered by noise move to gated communities such as Brisas or Chapala Haciendas or Rancho de Oro where it is much quieter? Don't expect to live in the village near large community event venues and have quiet. It makes as much sense as moving a mile or two from a major airport and expecting them to change the flight patterns as people did when I sold real estate in Denver's Park Hill.

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When I arrived for a two week visit in 1996 I looked at five houses and then did a very stupid thing, I made an offer at about 65% of the asking price on the most beautiful house I had seen for sale, way up in the hills in Ajijic overlooking the city and the lake. You couldn't get any farther up the hill or farther away from the lake. This sale was subject to the sale of my primary residence in Seattle. The offer was accepted and I was able to sell my Seattle house soon thereafter.

The last thing you should do is visit a village you know nothing about and one week into your two week visit, make an offer on a house. I did everything wrong and somehow lucked out because when the home closed and I took possession, and I moved in for my first snowbird stay of four months during the following winter. Noise was not much of a problem that far up. Sure I heard those darn fireworks that were fired up at night and early morning every holiday and the noise was annoying, but I got used to it. And when there were loud parties close to town the noise someone living close one would hate, had abated to a low enough level so that it was almost pleasant.

I'm still a snowbird but now I live in Mexico about 9 months per year and the remainder  of time up in Seattle or Vancouver Island.

My advice to those who have moved into a home where the noise is too loud is either to build a basement (underground) bedroom to escape to on those noisy nights or to sell and move to an area that you can enjoy hopefully still in Mexico.

I love Mexico and the area I live in. I truly hope you can find your dream home located in your dream location. I truly wish all of you the best of luck as you decide what to do or not to do to find your little piece of paradise.

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This is the Federal noise law. When my husband took it to the mayor's office we had immediate results last September. The same night the music from the fair was significantly reduced. Later city laws were changed. The administration stated they were not aware of the law. This is not an expat issue as majority of Mexicans are not in favor of the loud noise. In Mexico City loud noise is one of the most common complaints.

http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle_popup.php?codigo=5324105

Noise equivalency: http://www.noisehelp.com/noise-level-chart.html

But complaining on social media and doing nothing else will not result in a change.

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18 hours ago, ezpz said:

To the OP, wow, I sincerely feel your pain.  Those marathon banda blasts used to be just around Carnaval time, but to do that all over again is ridiculous!  If the turnout was poor, hopefully that will discourage a repeat performance!  Money is the bottom line in these commercial events which are not traditional fiestas put on by the people.  I agree with MC above.  

Please see my comments on the music/noise issues on the SA Plaza thread, I don't want to repeat myself.

MC, what is happening in GDL as you mentioned?

EZPZ, to answer your question, they elected someone from the MC (Movimiento Cuidadano) instead of the usual hacks from the usual major parties and he is really cleaning house and getting things done.  Locally, the same opportunity presented itself but we ended up with the usual by a few hundred votes when they combined the PRI and "Green" vote. 

 

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As per usual Sonia is the voice of reason. If you don't like how it works, take some action. Whether you go through the local government office, escalate to the State offices or just move, it's better than simply suffering. I recently left La Floresta after the month of November started with fireworks (big ones) 2 blocks from my house every day at 5a.m. I moved to relatively quiet La Cristina. Yes, it's further out but I can sleep. I have been to speak to the local priests in two churches to ask why there is a relationship between religion and fireworks. One said it's a terrible problem having to do with superstition and the other said he didn't have time to answer my questions. So I moved and it's lovely.

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ok now you all can see sonia's post. yes she is mexican & is not concerned w/the entertainment of expats. she is a normal working person w/a family. time to discard the stero types. possibly some of you owe an apology? lets hope we have more sonias here who can get things done. we may be dealing w/more corruption than SMA. time will tell.

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34 minutes ago, betty7 said:

ok now you all can see sonia's post. yes she is mexican & is not concerned w/the entertainment of expats. she is a normal working person w/a family. time to discard the stero types. possibly some of you owe an apology? lets hope we have more sonias here who can get things done. we may be dealing w/more corruption than SMA. time will tell.

Sonia is married to a Canadian and she clearly states what kind of business they operate, which is primarily directed at expats, under her avatar. They lived here before relocating to SMA and demographically and psychographically would be classified as upper middle class urban Mexicans.

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5 hours ago, daisy2013 said:

Psychological torture is a real stretch.

Daisy, you would change your statement if you ever actually experienced the type of noise assault as the OP and I have.  The US military is known for using super loud rock music to torture prisoners both in Iraq and Guantanamo.  A few days of that with no sleep can drive a person truly literally insane.  The amplified "music" here can be loud enough to cause actual trauma when it goes on for hours and you can't do anything about it at the time.  And then gets repeated night after night at times. This has been a ongoing story here, you need to get up to speed on the true noise issues of this area.

Sonia has the real info, please read her links.  You can use google translate to read the MEXICAN Federal Law regarding "acoustic contamination."  And everyone needs to check out that Decibel Equivalency Chart.  Loud rock (or banda) music is charted at 110 DB which is the equivalent of a train passing by.  In my house I hear 90% of the DB level at the source, which can be truly tortuously loud.

But, neighbors have organized and we have had some successes.  The Ajijic Lienzo Charro no longer rents their space to outside famous and LOUD bandas, only local ones which have played at times without amps except for the singers, a positive change.  We had luck with El Barco several years ago and mixed results with Plaza B, as they got rid of the outdoor 3rd floor bar (with concrete walls that echo the sound everywhere even louder!) they used to have, featuring the loudest and worst "entertainment" you can imagine, sometimes until 4 am.  But now they have the loud exercise classes in open air concrete studios which continues to bother the neighbors as well as nearby businesses.  They have been up and down with the volume, simply another sign that they don't know what they are doing with that issue.  They have been rude when confronted by neighbors and others.  There also have not been any horrible punk rock "concerts" here in a while either.  When put into a "free market" situation where the people have to pay to enter or buy drinks they do very poorly.  

20 hours ago, bontepar said:

Respect local customs!!!LOL

You need to realize that the banda blowout described by the OP is NOT a custom here, that was a manufactured commercial event for profit.  I'd like to know exactly how much $$ the promoters made.  Having huge loud concerts every night for 10 nights means you would have to have a LOT of people to show up just to break even.  I doubt that that happened, so maybe this will not happen again.  The whole thing is total overkill.  Especially given the fact that Chapala already has a banda blowout for now 10 days before Carnaval, and I understand a lot of people are sick of that too.  Plus, they have their typical Patron Saint Fiesta as well.  No need for any more banda blowouts!

Expats in general need to get clear on what the acceptable traditions are here and what are commercial events.  The Patron Saint fiestas in all the towns go back hundreds of years since the Spanish came.  All facets of the fiestas are planned and paid for by the people of the village who put loads of heart and soul into these events.  There is no admission or publicity for any of these events, the people of the village already know what is happening.  There is no profit motive and no promoter.  And many Mexicans that I have spoken with have noted that the fiesta bandas, which are usually quite good, are getting louder every year, and don't like it.  That again, is misuse of the sound technology.  They are used to playing in much larger venues and don't know to turn down in a small town!

One element of the Saint's fiestas is the fireworks which drives a lot of newbies batty.  They are a normal part of village life, the people here have grown up with cohetes, the Mexican babies and dogs can sleep through them, I've seen it.  The fireworks are just temporary, sporadic pop pop pops, nothing to freak out over.  Nothing like the sonic torture of living near a noisy bar with horrible rock bands, or extended events like the OP described.  The fireworks do resemble the sound of gunfire, because they are made with gunpowder thanks to the Spaniards again, so that would understandably be upsetting to newbies who don't understand that people are just celebrating like Independence Day up north, only it happens more times a year here.  It's not the gun related violence that is so common in the USA.

To the OP, I suggest that you get a group of your Mexican (and expat) neighbors together and make a group complaint to the office of Hugo Herrera who is the jefe de licensias here.  His phone # is  331 043 3772.  Although the event is over, Chapala needs to get feedback from the people who are so very perturbed by this totally unnecessary noise, so it won't happen again.  The only thing that works with Chapala is to wear them down with complaints from LOTS of people - that's why you need to organize with your neighbors.  Good luck!!!

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ezpz, some people (of all ages) dont have the neurolgical sensitivity to suffer headaches/other disorders. matter of fact they gravitiate to the noise. (other people are elderly & are hard of hearing). good to know there was some progress made. stopped all excercise classes last fall as i was going to a mex place further west. i left after 10 minutes several times, never went back. it wasnt really music they played. some of it had recordings of car crashes & explosions over the electric sound. the teacher screaming as well. it was a small room w/a amp all the way up both treble & bass. the people seem to like it. its not a matter of "not knowing what they are doing". many women were young but also middle aged as well. never was that way years ago.

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Are you curious how loud the noise you are hearing  actually is? And therefore if too loud and in violation of the noise ordinance? Here is a simple solution. Just download an app to your smart phone. Just out of curiosity I downloaded a free version of a dB app maybe four years ago to my then iPhone 4. How accurate is this app? I don't know. But it's a good starting  point.

Get a copy of the sound ordinance and compare your results with the regulations. In my case, way up in the hills about as far as you can get above Ajijic on Juarez the noises were never loud enough to even come close to the maximum. Remember that this app is not an official measuring device so it may not be that accurate, But it's a good place to start so that you can better understand your situation in relation to the regulations.

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For quiet living, I recommend Japan.  Even huge apartment complexes are quiet.

Mexican, Thai, Lao, Cambodians, Australians are all noisy people!  Maybe research the culture first and decide if the country is a good fit for you...

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The fair here is every September and runs for 3 weeks, daily. We live 3 km away. The land between us and the fair is flat. You can see the bright lights of the fair meaning no hills etc to stop the noise. At 1 am you could feel the beat and hear every word. There were at least 25,000 people affected.

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