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Neighbours Fed Up With Bagpipes Blasting From McDonald’s

People living near a McDonald's are getting an earful from the restaurant that's blasting nonstop bagpipe music in Sacramento, California.

It’s supposed to keep the homeless away, but residents say it’s driving them crazy.

This story is not about music to the ears.

CBS13 asked three managers about the bagpipe music blaring from loudspeakers and they replied “What bagpipes?”.

The music aims to deter loitering. Photo: CBS

The fast-food restaurant is open around the clock, and some neighbours were moved to complain about the sound coming from its walls.

“The first couple of days they had it on 24/7. If we wouldn’t have said anything or reported it to the police, they would have had that thing going on still,” Arnold Phillips said.

He lives across the street and says it’s making him crazy.

“It actually penetrates through the walls. We can hear it [when] I’m trying to watch TV or whatever and it’s going through that,” Phillips said.

The music is intended to drive the homeless away and doesn’t appear to be working.

Ben Pobjie

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The world is always changing, and I think we can all agree that this is basically a bad thing.

“I think it’s an absurd action to take instead of actually dealing with the issue,” Kiara Reede said.

The idea of weaponized sound is nothing new. A 7-Eleven in West Hollywood loops classical music and a 7-Eleven in Sacramento replaced classical with a high pitch tone.

But at Broadway, it’s “raining bagpipes” over and over and over again.

“It sticks in your head when you’re going somewhere else not even in this neighbourhood because you’ve heard it for so long,” Phillips said.

Arnold wishes he could pull the plug. He’s even talked to restaurant management.

Neigbours say they can hear the music through walls. Image: CBS

“They said they’d talk to corporate people up higher. That’s all they said they could do really,” Phillips said.

Requests for comment from CBS13 fell on deaf ears, but Arnold’s downstairs neighbor Nate Dewitt had his covered.

“You know, I turn off the leaf blower and I could still hear the bagpipes coming and it’s just constant,” Dewitt said.

A number of patrons who ate at the restaurant were not pleased with the noise.

“It was offensive to me because it was just so annoying,” Susan Smart said.