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City using 'Raining Tacos' song to keep people away from downtown West Palm Beach pavilion overnight

Posted: 7:33 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 23:57:18-04
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Editor's Note: We regret that an earlier version of this story mischaracterized Commissioner Richard Ryles' position on the city’s use of music to discourage people from congregating near the Lake Pavilion overnight. Ryles told us he was surprised to learn it was happening and hadn’t formed an opinion on the matter. He also did not suggest that it is inhumane, as we reported. He did say he thinks there should be a discussion about the use of music.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s a sound some are saying is not music to their ears.

For the past 10 days, music has been playing from Lake Pavilion in downtown West Palm Beach during the early morning hours.

People who frequent the area at night say it usually rotates between “Baby Shark” and the “Raining Tacos” song.

With lyrics like “cheese, cheese cheese, cheese, it’s raining tacos, raining tacos.”

“It’s aggravating, really aggravating,” one woman said.

For the last few days, Celeste, who's homeless, says she’s heard the music every night outside of Lake Pavilion along the waterfront on South Flagler Drive.

WPTV crews captured video of a person sleeping under the pavilion while the music was playing 6 a.m. Tuesday. Hours later we went back to the same spot and the music was off.

“It’s 11 p.m. to like 7 a.m. why are they playing it at that time and not during the day when the kids are actually playing actively,” Celeste questioned.

WPTV went to the city for answers since it owns the pavilion.

A spokesperson said in a statement the music is played during the day for families.

“The music is also played overnight by the Pavilion to discourage congregating and, if appropriate, to encourage people to seek safer, more appropriate shelter through the many resources that are available,” Kathleen Walter, West Palm Beach spokesperson said.

City Commissioner Richard Ryles says he has not personally received any complaints regarding the early morning music but views this as an opportunity for an important discussion on homelessness downtown.

“All of us are probably just one paycheck away from being homeless so I would want someone to be compassionate with me,” Ryles said.

Walter also said the music volume complies with city code, and they are exploring the possibility of having set hours for the Great Lawn and Pavilion.