Evarist Bartolo on Wednesday joined the chorus of complaints about extended music hours in Valletta, claiming police could not act over residents' complaints as they were unsure how to measure moderate volume.

In a Facebook post, the former PL minister said Valletta residents who live on streets where music is allowed until 1am, have become apprehensive of the weekend. 

In June, following an update to the law, establishments in nine of the most popular streets in the capital were given the green light to play music outdoors until 1am

According to the legal notice, “no music can be heard outdoors after 1am” in Merchants, Old Bakery, Old Theatre, Republic, South, St Lucia, Saint Ursula, Archbishop, and Strait streets. 

The notice stipulates that the music must be kept at a ‘moderate level’ after 11pm, however, it does not specify the decibel limit of sound levels. 

Bartolo said on Wednesday that while music in the late hours of Monday to Thursday was reportedly "moderate", the music was sometimes out of control between Friday and Sunday.

"This is not right. From what I've been told, last weekend the music was too loud in some parts. The residents contacted the police to ensure music remains at moderate levels, as promised, but their efforts were in vain.

"The police officers told them: music is allowed until 1am. We don't know what 'moderate volume' means. And right now there are only two of us - we cannot do anything.

"Is this right," Bartolo asked.

Several - from residents to developers - have expressed concern over the reform over the past two months.

Entrepreneurs, including owners of boutique hotels and high-end apartments, have expressed fear this will transform Valletta into another rowdy Paceville. 

The Nationalist Party even filed a motion to repeal a controversial law extending the hours of outdoors music. But government MPs dug their heels and rejected it.

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo has defended the legal notice and said a compromise will have to be found.

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