The city of North Myrtle Beach is researching a way to control profanity-laced music that has made the Sky Bar on Main Street a popular target for North Myrtle Beach area Facebook group discussions.
“What happens at the Sky Bar is they play a lot of rap music with a lot of the f-words and the b-words,” said Ray Collins, who spoke to council about the issue Monday night. “The Sky Bar itself has no walls. So therefore, their music drifts out into the community. I know people who can live over at McLean Park and they can actually hear it. That’s like three or four blocks away.”
Before the meeting, the city met in executive session to discuss what could be done. Generally, profanity is protected under the First Amendment.
“Regarding the offensive music that may be overheard on Main Street, city council is well aware of that issue,” city attorney Chris Noury said. “Council met in executive secession tonight to discuss that very issue and how that issue relates to the First Amendment. Council most likely will be looking at a proposed ordinance to try and manage that situation at some point in the near future.”
So far, said councilman Fred Coyne, the city doesn’t have any concrete solutions to address the source of the complaints.
“Things we would never talk about or words we’d never mention in public or even private for that matter five years, 10 years ago, 15 years ago for sure, are now just sort of a common language and it’s terrible,” Coyne said. “It’s just something that needs to be done. Whatever we do, we want to do it right. If it takes a while, it takes a while. It’s a priority to us, but there’s no reason to rush into something that’s no good, not effective and potentially an issue.”
“We have the free speech, which makes it complicated,” added councilman Hank Thomas. “You just can’t go ‘Oh, you can’t say that,’ because there is free speech, so when we address something like that, we’ve got to make sure we’re on solid ground.”