News broke yesterday that the parliament MPs representing citizens in Bratislava, Slovakia’s city center voted to institute a new blanket curfew that will force businesses to close by 10 p.m. starting October 10.
In Bratislava nightclubs often stay active till around 6 a.m. and bars shut around 2 or 3 in the morning, but noise complaints from people living in the city center pushed the local counsel to pass a new curfew. Struggles over closing hours for nighttime venues has been in contention at least since March, when Bratislava mayor Radoslav Števčík proposed dividing the city into several zones with staggered curfews, but the measure did not pass due to objections from bar owners.
The new lockouts apply to businesses in the Old Town, a small downtown area in the city of 500,000. Spaces can stay open a few hours later if they seal their windows and install double doors or take their late-night activities underground to basements or on boats, which may drive nightlife literally underground.
The lockouts in Bratislava are stricter even than those in Sydney, Australia, where several demonstrations have taken place over the past few years to protest a set of laws restricting when and where venues can serve alcohol and how early they must close. (You can read in depth about that issue here.) And Bratislavans aren’t going down without a fight, either; a protest has already been scheduled to take place on Friday night in front of the mayor’s house—and it starts at, obviously, 10 p.m…