Park Life: The Dos and Don'ts of Music in Public Parks

You can spend all the money in the world on booze and a boombox, but stick on Westlife down the park and you'll be left with no friends and a black eye.
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You’re heading down to the park for a few beers, some sunbathing maybe a bit of Frisbee if you’re feeling energetic and what’s more you decide to dust off the ghetto blaster for the occasion. You’re working it out, rocking that shoulder action better than Will Smith ever could but when you come to press play you realise all you’ve got with you in an old Bon Jovi cassette and the other grass lovers seem to be shuffling their windbreaks and themselves away from you at a rate of knots. There is some music that is definitely ‘ok’ to play in front of other people and some that is most definitely not. So leave your much loved Jennifer Lopez album at home (what? She had a couple of good songs) and get down to the shops…

Bob Marley:

Everyone loves Bob Marley, your mum, your dad, your gran, your dog, every one in the world, if you don’t love Bob Marley there is clearly something wrong with you like Bob Marleyitus or something (we haven’t checked but that probably is an actual disease). If you play Bob Marley outside everyone will be instantly chilled out as in “Like, I’m sooo chilled out man” and who doesn’t want to be chilled out? No one that’s who.


Oasis are the only band it is conceivably acceptable for you to play in the park. Oasis say I’m cool but I’m not trying, see if you were trying you would go to your local HMV (are they even open anymore?) and pick up the latest offering from Vampire Weekend or The xx but then everybody would know you were trying and there is nothing worse than someone who is trying too hard except maybe Cliff Richard.

"If you play Bob Marley outside everyone will be instantly chilled out as in “Like, I’m sooo chilled out man” and who doesn’t want to be chilled out? No one that’s who."

Park Pop:

There will come a certain time in the day, usually after one too many luke warm vinos, when people will think it a good time to start dancing and if not dancing there will be at least some sort of half hearted swaying and perhaps the occasional clap of your hands. At this point you need to be ready to blast out your favourite party music and no, we don’t mean The Spice Girls greatest hits, think Gaga, Beyonce, to be honest this is about the only time when people won’t care what they are listening to so it’s your only chance to get the cheese out (we don’t mean your picnic Brie).

Any dance compilation:

Especially those “Super Summer Hits Relax Megatastic” mixes. Be sure to look up some of the names on the back of the case before you go so that you can regurgitate them to your cool new park friends “Yes, yes this is DJ Samusamsoa, massive in Iceland, just massive” it doesn’t matter that you don’t know whether or not he is massive in Iceland, he could be a she for all you know, but your Pimmsed up chums will be suitably impressed.

Your own guitar:

Now this only applies if you can actually play the guitar and we don’t mean strumming out “Knocking on heavens door” at half speed on an instrument that’s missing all but two strings we mean actually being able to play, properly, like Slash or Danny out of McFly or our dad, he was next in line to be a Beatle you know (this may be a lie).

And just so you are 100% sure here are the ones that will have you banned by the park warden:

PJ and Duncan’s greatest hits (this CD doesn’t actually exist but if it did)
Anything by the Osmonds
Peter Andre or Katie Price or even worse Peter Andre and Katie Price together
Cascada – Unless you want people to “Evacuate The Dance Floor” and by dance floor we mean park
Steps – They were wrong then, they’re wrong now. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Westlife – There is a time and a place for all music, for Westlife the time is never and the place is no where.

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