A petition calling on the government to end noise pollution and debauchery in the rapidly growing Canggu area has caught the attention of the country’s top tourism official, who confirmed yesterday that a visit this week to the Island of Gods has been scheduled.
The petition, uploaded on Change.org less than a month ago, has been signed by almost 7,400 people – almost reaching their target of 7,500 – per this article’s publication.
Addressed as an open letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno, and Bali Governor Wayan Koster, among others, the petition lamented “booming sound from open bars” in Batu Bolong and Berawa, which is said could go on until 3am and, in some cases, 4am.
In his weekly press briefing yesterday, Sandiaga said that his office has become aware of the petition. In fact, Sandiaga said that he received complaints from hotel owners in Canggu about the occurrence of loud noises in the area “one-and-a-half years ago.”
“We already sent a team and, indeed, at the time, we concluded that in the middle of the pandemic, tourism activities were not busy yet […] so [the noise] was not too impactful,” he said.
Now, however, Sandiaga noted that with more than 10,000 international tourists visiting Bali per day, per the ministry’s data, he has received reports that the noise in Canggu has become too extreme and could last until 4am.
“We will conduct a visit this week to Bali specifically to discuss with the stakeholders on how to handle this matter,” he said.
“We appreciate the petition. We must ensure that the government is present to provide a solution.”
Sandiaga, who has been pushing for a 5-year digital nomad visa, noted that while Canggu has become popular with digital nomads, there are still areas to improve to raise its attractiveness – including traffic jams and noise pollution.
Some of the commenters on the petition said they have had trouble sleeping due to the “extreme noise” that lasts until the early hours of the morning. Some specifically put the blame on “a new beach club.”
As previously reported, Atlas Beach Fest (formerly Holywings Bali) is the latest beach club to open in Berawa.
Coconuts Bali has reached out to representatives of Atlas Beach Fest for comment.
To be fair to Atlas Beach Fest, it should be noted that it is not the only establishment in the area – and that Canggu and its surroundings have been rapidly developing in recent years.
Coconuts Bali has also reached out to some of the Berawa residents who live around the area.
One of them, McKenna, an American national who has resided in the area for about two years, said that while she is not really bothered by the noise, she can understand people who can’t tolerate such extreme levels, especially with the new beach club up and running.
“It’s kind of fun, like, when we’re sitting outside or if we are on the rooftop because you don’t really need your own music,” she chuckled, describing it as “a personal concert.”
McKenna, whose residence is situated about a 10-minute walk from Atlas Beach Fest, said that she could hear the noise when walking to her bathroom in the evening, but not in her bedroom.
“I’m sure it won’t be a problem if it’s toned down,” she said, adding that based on her experience, the noise sometimes lasts until 2am.