New Zealand…: A city steeped in the music of Celine Dion

New Zealand…: A city steeped in the music of Celine Dion

New Zealanders have been suffering for several months from an unusual scourge: nightly competitions over loudspeakers between motorists fond of the songs of Canadian Celine Dion. “It is disturbing us and people are no longer able to sleep,” Anita Baker, mayor of Porirua, which has a population of 60,000, told AFP on Thursday.

Voice battles have become a trend in New Zealand for several years. The goal of each participant is to saturate the sound of others with his own voice, through ultra-powerful audio systems. “They love Celine Dion,” Ms. Baker says. Porirua residents can no longer listen to his songs such as “My Heart Will Go On” and “It All Comes Back to Me Now,” especially as battles sometimes continue until 2 a.m., according to the mayor.

Randomly, during the week or on weekends, competitors park their cars with their engines running, blast their music at the top of their lungs and change positions frequently to avoid the police. “This happens in our city centre, which is in a basin, so the noise spreads like a drum to all the suburbs,” Ms Baker explains.

According to the elected official, the “fights” began in November 2022, when local rugby fans celebrated the performance of the Samoa Islands in the Rugby League World Cup, where the Pacific nation reached the final.

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