The drum circles pounded quieter. The guitarists turned down their microphones. And most of the DJs didn't show up.
Mayor Charlie Hales' latest effort to tamp down the revelry at Last Thursday—enforcing noise code on street musicians—went smoothly last night, with the city issuing only three citations for playing tunes too loud.
"The musicians all seemed to have gotten the word," says Paul Van Orden, the city's noise control officer. "The people who were normally too loud didn't show up."
The ease of Hales' enforcement of noise rules suggests that controversy has died down since last summer, when the mayor's office faced backlash for trying to regulate the 15-block bohemian free-for-all, which in recent years has attracted large groups of unruly teenagers.
City officials enforced a curfew, compiled statistics on public drunkenness and urination, and tried—unsuccessfully—to get the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to cite bars for over-serving revelers. In the process, they drew ire from Last Thursday organizers, who said the event had lost its character—and quit, leaving Hales' office in charge.
But last night's effort to reduce noise was, in fact, quiet. Officials cited a guitar player, a DJ, and a house party with a band.
Hales spokesman Dana Haynes says the mayor's office is pleased with the more pacific Last Thursday, which now ends promptly at 9 pm.
"It's one that we wish we hadn't inherited, but it seems to be trending in the right direction," says Haynes. "The mayor went last night and said it was pretty quiet and pretty fun."