Florida city plays 'Baby Shark' song on repeat to steer homeless people away: report

Florida city plays 'Baby Shark' song on repeat to steer homeless people away: report
© Pinkfong/YouTube

Officials in West Palm Beach, Fla., are reportedly playing a number of children’s songs, including “Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos,” on repeat overnight as a means of steering homeless people away from sleeping at a city-owned facility.

The viral songs are played on loop around the patio of the Waterfront Lake Pavilion, a rental banquet location that expects to rake in $240,000 this fiscal year hosting private events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs, the Palm Beach Post reports. The pavilion is a popular spot for homeless people at night.

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“People are paying a lot of money to use the facility,” West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Director Leah Rockwell told the Post. “Thousands of dollars. We want to make sure people paying this money had a facility that was clean and open and continue to use it in the future." 

Rockwell called the music is a “humane” and temporary solution.

“It has been effective and is a temporary measure to make the area accessible for those who have rented the facility and for future events,” she said. “We are not forcing individuals to stay on the patio of the pavilion to listen to the music. The music is heard only if you are on the patio, a very small area relative to the rest of the waterfront.”

Social media users have knocked West Palm Beach for its decision, with one user tweeting that playing the repetitive songs is “cruel and unusual punishment.” 

Three years ago, Lake Worth Beach, Fla., tried playing soft classical music at all hours of the day as a means to deter drug dealers and the homeless from the area, but it backfired when officials realized people enjoyed the music.