Want to shoo some people away? Maybe play classical music

You might think classical music sounds nice, but it’s actually effective in driving people away. One Burger King in San Francisco is constantly playing Vivaldi, Bach, and Mozart. Homeless people and teens don’t seem to want to hang around when the music is playing. This tactic originates from a 7-Eleven in British Columbia several decades ago, and now it’s being used worldwide.



  • Lily E. Hirsch - California State University Bakersfield; author of “Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment”
  • Theodore Gioia - writes about music, literature and popular culture - @tedgioia