Karaoke Bar - Help please!

hans121

New Member
Feb 16, 2010
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1
3
Hi everyone!

I have lived in Bali for over a year now, together with my Balinese girlfriend.
I have had my problems here, as certainly everybody does, but I could handle things until now.
We live directly at the beach, in a village near Singaraja.
There are quite a lot of so called Karaoke bars, brothels or what ever you want to call them, in this area.
They didn't really bother me until about 2 months ago the nearest to our house (about 500 meters away) turned up the volume...
Now the music is so loud that within a few hundred meters from the bar, nobody can sleep.
They usually stop at 2 o'clock in the night.
Last week they even turned it a little bit louder again... it is so unbearably loud now...

I've talked to people in my area, and everybody seems to be angry, but nobody actually does anything.
Some of the people who live really near to the bar (about 200 meter or nearer) had to leave their houses and move to relatives, because it's impossible to sleep during the night.
Many went there and complained, but the only response of the owners was that they sent some goons who threatened to kill the ones who complained.
They told a friend of mine, who complained: "Go on, go to the police and complain, that won't help you, because the police men drink here with our girls every evening..." I guess that's right.
So a fourth of the village has problems sleeping at night, everybody is angry but unfortunately too afraid to do something (which I can understand).

There are quite a lot of hotels and home stays in the surrounding area, not even they did anything (or maybe they just cannot...)

I know this is nothing new in Bali and it happens in many places... but I want to do something about it, which is a little bit difficult, because I'd rather preserve my anonymity.

So, does anybody here have experience in dealing with such a situation?
Or does anybody have ideas how to deal with it? Or maybe just some advices...?
I would be really grateful for some replies.

greetings Hans
 

spicyayam

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2009
3,596
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Sorry, I don't have any good advice but I have heard of these kinds of problems before in Bali. I think I was just reading the other day about a foreigner getting killed by a drunken mob after he complained about the noise from a bar. I tried searching for that article, but can't seem to find it again.

If locals can't do anything, what hope have you got. Move? Ear plugs?
 

lumumba

Member
Sep 17, 2008
489
4
18
Bandung-Bali-Jakarta
If I was you I would complaint by letter to the local government, direct to Manku Pastika, the governor of Bali and explain what’s going on as you did here in your post. Even in Bali the noise level has to be maintained and there is a regulation about this, I have been reading something about it long time ago and can’t remember where.
Maybe nothing will ever change, who knows, I would do it

There is also a Consumer Protection Office in Bali, you can find it with Google
 

leandra

Member
Feb 16, 2010
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it was in the current baliadvertiser , the article mentioned that a french family has been threatend and the man stapped into his leg , children have been frightend by the mob.


the man complained about the sound of a bar next to his , saying that his two young children cannot sleep.


he has been followed by the mob back to his house and apart from threatening the family, they broke windows and demolished furnitures.


i can only give you this advice: try to solve it with "money"reasons.

you can get a group togehter of people who are distrubed by the noise and go all togehter( not a single person alone!) to the banyar.

tell them that you will not continue business, rentals etc in this areal and the banyar will take care of as they are afraid of loosing businesses.

it would be good if somebody can spread the gossip that a land urchase could not have been completed because of this issue and the potential buyer has found land somewhere else.

there is no way to get things faster done here as if people are afraid to loose business or money.

Good luck!
 

JohnnyCool

Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2009
1,414
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Sanur
hans121
I feel sorry for the situation you're in.
I know exactly what you're talking about.

From your description, if the locals around you can't do anything, your chances are about zero, too.
It's obvious to me that somebody associated with that "cafe" has powerful connections.
Trying to talk with your banjar about it is great, in theory.
Complaining to the Governor of Bali might be useful, but I doubt it.

The best things you can do are:
1) Put up with it and shut-up
2) Move as soon as you can

Whilst leandra's "advice" is rather simplistic (throw money at it), the reference to the French family living around Mengwi is very relevant.
The drunken mob did more than make threats - the father was stabbed in the leg and the house was wrecked. I think three people were arrested.

Get out is your best option, in my opinion. The sooner, the better.
Anything else is pissing in the wind.
Trying to take on so-called Bali "mafia" is not for amateurs.
 
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buaya

New Member
Feb 19, 2010
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hans121
Trying to take on so-called Bali "mafia" is not for amateurs.


cosign - you can't win on this one, end of story. but, i do have one suggestion that may help, and doesn't involve trying to convince a bunch of asian gangsters to shut the hell up and stop doing business in their own territory:

buy a big, giant, 1.5 million fan (i think that's what they cost now?) at ace hardware. the biggest, most industrial strength fan you can find, the bigger the better - if it's big enough it'll make a low drone that covers up the bassy sounds from the club, so if you see an even bigger model for 2 million or something, go for it. take it home, plug it in , and point it at the wall (or at you bed if you're really really hot at night) a fan that size will make a fairly loud but unobtrusive hum/white noise that can mask the loudest of noises. i first tried this living in a household with a roommate (who's room was right next to mine) who would come home drunk at 3 am and literally BLAST deathmetal from his big ass stereo at TOP FU#&ING VOLUME. an industrial sized fan was totally capable of masking this noise and letting me sleep peacefully at night. i also have one in bali; there's no cafe near my place but there must be about 45 barking dogs, 800 chickens, noisy children by the dozen, and my immediate neighbor blasts haus music on her stereo in the mid morning while i'm sleeping late. i hear none of this, ever.

it takes a week or so to get used to the noise of the fan (to the point where it's actually soothing) but i've had enough regular overnight visitors to know that pretty much anyone can get used to it fairly quickly. this really, absolutely does work, will cover up very loud noises, and could be a temporary or even permanent, solution to your problem.
 
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Jesse

Member
Feb 16, 2010
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Melbourne
Usually, you can turn to the village official or any government sort of authority so you can lend your complaint. Pretty much what we do when we have problems in our village.
 

mat

Member
Dec 18, 2008
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Singaraja
I'm in Pemaron and I have just found out today that a development less than 40 metres from my house is going to have a karaoke bar. I'm horrified. Especially as I have bought a house just three months ago very close by [before any development was apparent] and was planning to move in within the month. I fear I will not only lost my peace, sleep, and sanity, I have probably lost a large part of my investment in the house as well. My sympathies are with you and I will fight with every tool I have.
 

mimpimanis

Active Member
Nov 4, 2003
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Kuta, Lombok
www.mimpimanis.com
I think Buaya's idea is a good one. I only have a standard fan but find the buzz of it, which I don't notice at all till I turn it off, drowns out other outside noise. One of those huge fans might just drown out the sounds of the karaoke bar.
 

hans121

New Member
Feb 16, 2010
23
1
3
Hi everyone!

I've tried to find out more from people around me...
I found out that the owner of the "cafe" is a man from "Sidetape" (an original balinese village in the mountains near Seririt) and that those people are said to be very uncompromising, and are fast to turn violent or even kill somebody if they have a problem.
That's probably the reason why people are so afraid to do something... He always has his bodyguards around him, so you don't even get the chance to talk to him.
I've now heard from a few sources that this man has a lot of friends at the Singaraja police and even the kepala desa is much too afraid to say anything.

Maybe you guys are right and there is nothing I can do to shut this guy up, but I'll try, because I spent a lot of money on my house.

Thanks for the advice with the fan, I may consider it, if I can't solve the problem.

@leandra: thanks, you made a good point. I could try to spread gossips of that sort.

@mat: I feel really sorry for you... I really hope you are lucky and the owner of the new "cafe" is not so tough, so that you can find a way to shut it down. Not all of them make their music unbearably loud... Mostly they start quietly and after a few months they turn the volume up step by step.

I think I'm gonna try writing a letter to the Governor.

Thank you all for your advices so far. more are welcome :)

greetings Hans
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
9,406
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Karangasem, Bali
Ok friend I've read your thread and feel for you and I have to say there aint a thing that you can do about the noise in a NORMAL world. Now once you are up against it like this there is really only the last resort.

If it was me I would hire an electrician to shinny up the power pole outside his restaurant and attach a cable to his power line. Of course you don't want to get found out so a little stealth is called for. Run the cable to just to the bottom of the pole. Have your electrician friend attach a switch and earth the cable (ground it). When the music gets particularly loud at night just walk over and flick the switch and ground Mr. Kareoke's power supply. This will blow all his fuses and after you've done it a couple of times he will get the idea that the volume is pulling more power than his system can handle - and turn it down.

No one can point a finger at you and you get to switch him off - just imagine the flood of pure joy....
 

matto

New Member
Jan 25, 2008
9
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Seminyak
Not a bad idea but your talking of a prosective fault curent of well over 100 amps, plenty enough to melt the switch your going to throw, and who-ever attampts to throw it, not only bbqing yourself, but implicating you in your attempt to derail his business. so you'll be burned then beaten.

Does he (as most karaoke bars do) have his business very close to the road? And does he have an alang alang roof? Far easier to make yourself a molotov cocktail (using very fragile glass and a a litre of accelerant), and doing a drive by cocktailing of his very flammable roof. Best to have 2 people do this and hit 2 different spots on the roof simultaneously - theres no way they'll have 2 hoses.

Make sure your escape route is well planned - do several dry runs - and make sure your plan B has a plan B also. Eventual escape by boat is best means as his police friends will have the roads pretty well pinched off if there on the ball.

This of course in jest........
 

calitobali

Member
Jul 10, 2008
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If it were me, I would try going in there a couple of times and having a few beers before I started complaining to them. Get friendly with them first, it MAY (big emphasis on the may) make a little difference in how they perceive you. Other than that doesn't sound like there is a lot that you can do.
 

JohnnyCool

Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2009
1,414
88
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Sanur
If it were me, I would try going in there a couple of times and having a few beers before I started complaining to them. Get friendly with them first, it MAY (big emphasis on the may) make a little difference in how they perceive you. Other than that doesn't sound like there is a lot that you can do.
I tried that several times last year in a cafe near my last house in Sanur.

The first time was friendly enough and the owner said he was going to put in sound-proofing "soon". In the same breath, he also said he was buying a bigger sound system. I asked him for how much? He gave me a figure and I blithely said that it was relatively cheap. He offered me a "partnership" in his cafe, on the spot. I declined saying I just wanted to be able to sleep at night, sometimes.

The second time I went there, (still no "sound-proofing"), he told me he was working on it and told me that any time I went there, I would get three large bottles of Bintang for free. I thanked him for that but reminded him that I hadn't been able to sleep properly for months.

I didn't go a third time because in the interim, I found out that this particular individual was well-connected with the local Bali mafia and probably the police, as well. The "noise" problem from this cafe has been a bone of contention for many ordinary Balinese living nearby for the past ten years! The cafe is still there. Nothing has changed. The local banjar, etc, are either in cahoots or too paranoid to push the issue. I know many local people around there who hate it but they feel powerless to do anything. Given how quickly things can get brutally ugly, I don't blame them.

My "solution" was to move somewhere else, four months before my house contract was up. I had hardly any proper sleep for about eight months!

People who have the misfortune to buy or build a property in the vicinity of cafes like this have my sympathy. I wrote articles in newspapers to no avail. I considered going to the office of the Bali Governor but decided against that.

For the curious among us, the name of the cafe is Katu Lebo (on the By-Pass). I "lived" about 100 meters behind it on Jalan Sekuta.

Never again (if I can help it).

:icon_cry: