By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer

An example of a house concert, or a concert performed in someone’s home. Boston PD is cracking down on such concerts in Boston by going undercover online on social media sites like Twitter and posing as fans to bust the venues. The goal is to enforce noise and maximum occupancy ordinances, and it is causing quiet a stir./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Samantha Murphy.

Boston Police Department has a new goal: cracking down on underground music scene.  According to an article on, Boston’s underground indie-rock scene, which relies on ‘house shows,’ where the up-and-coming bands play in homes rather than clubs, are the target of the Boston PD’s attention. The structures aren’t licensed for such venues and violate a number of other ordinances.

How might the BPD be going about this? Why they’re going to go undercover as ‘fans’ and take to social media platforms like Twitter of course! Usually we’re used to seeing the police use social media to uncover evidence that solves more, let’s say, heinous crimes rather than using it to pass as hipster indie-rock fans to locate an illegal concert in an Allston basement.

While their goal seems silly at the outset, these concerts are technically violating laws that exist to protect public safety and fair noise levels for other residents in the area. Under the Nuisance Control ordinance, also mentioned in, excessive noise is “ health threat” and affects the quality of life for residents. And beyond the threat of noise, the houses the concerts are held in are not licensed to hold that many people.

The situation seems to be not so black and white because there are instances where these house concerts are taking into consideration the surrounding neighbors. Furthermore, the police are also mistakenly cracking down on bands that are merely practicing. What draws the line between practicing and actually holding a concert? And is it infringing on rights of citizens to tell them how, when and where they will practice and perform their music?

Regardless of upped police activity, the bottom line is that these concerts are still going to go on and people are still going to attend them. Unless the police go about finding concert whereabouts on Twitter in a really clever way, I can’t see this operation going to well for them.