Residents of the small coastal city of Porirua, New Zealand, are asking local music geeks to think twice about blasting Celine Dion hits from bullhorns at earsplitting levels in the middle of the night, according to reports.
Dubbing themselves the Siren Kings, groups of people strap multiple massive speakers to their cars and blare music ranging from reggae to Dion classics including “My Heart Will Go On,” robbing residents of sleep. The goal is reportedly to see whose music broadcasts the loudest and clearest.
While some people in the 62,000-population city outside of Wellington are fine with the music itself, they wish the dueling would stop so that their sleep will go on. Recently residents petitioned Porirua’s city council to do something, anything.
“Enough is enough,” they wrote on a Change.org petition. “Porirua City Council must act and stop the gathering of car meets blasting music and emergency sirens noises at all hours of the night.”
Porirua’s Mayor Anita Baker is getting fed up, too.
“We haven’t got anywhere in our city where there’s not houses that would hear anything,” she told New Zealand public broadcasting network RNZ, adding that she was “sick to death of the siren battles” and lacks the power to stop them — it’s a police matter, she and other authorities said.
Considerate Siren Kings can stay, Baker told The Guardian. But their mangling of the music, at deafening decibels when people are trying to get some shuteye, has to stop.
“They play half a song and tweak it on their things and make a screeching noise so it is not like you’re even listening to good music,” Baker told The Guardian. “I don’t mean to be awful but it’s not even a complete song.”
The siren people previously kept their noise to industrial areas far from sleeping neighbors, Baker told RNZ. But that seems to have changed in recent years.
For the contest, youths pull up in six or seven cars outfitted with as many public address systems and loudspeakers, or sirens as their adherents call them, as possible to their vehicles. The contests take weeks to prepare for, according to BBC News.
Dion ranks high on their tune selection because it is clear and has high treble without much bass, one siren group member told local outlet The Spinoff last year.
There is a time and a place for everything, and 2 a.m. outside homes is not it, said the petition signers.
“Although I enjoy Celine Dion in the comfort of my lounge and at my volume, I do not enjoy hearing fragments of it stopping and starting at any time between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.,” one woman commented.