Macedonian bus drivers told to turn off turbofolk

Fri Oct 7, 2011 10:04am EDT
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By Kole Casule

SKOPJE (Reuters) - Deluged with complaints, the Macedonian capital Skopje has told bus drivers to turn off the thumping beats and folk melodies of Balkan turbofolk and commissioned some musical alternatives.

The mesmerizing turbofolk music genre is a favorite of bored bus drivers throughout the Balkans, who blare it out from the cab of their buses. But authorities in Skopje say it has begun to grate with passengers.

The city's public transport company, JSP, said on Friday that drivers of 67 new double-decker buses had been instructed to drop the turbofolk in an experiment that could see its cheeky kitsch style banished from public transport across the capital.

"We haven't banned turbo-folk, as we cannot ban any music, but we have simply excluded it from the repertoire," JSP general manager Miso Nikolov told Reuters. "We were receiving a lot of complaints about the music played in the buses."

Instead, passengers will be offered classical music in the mornings, foreign and domestic pop during the day, easy-listening in the early evening and techno at night to please the younger crowd, he said.

The double-deckers were introduced last month as part of a radical overhaul of the battered capital.

(Editing by Matt Robinson and Paul Casciato)