Crazy Noise Redux

My post about concert noise on the weekend has received a flurry of vigourous discussion. For purposes of understanding the various general points of view, I summarize each below:

First was a general area of opinion I’ll call yes, there was too much noise, which was my original thesis. Rob, who used to live about 12 feet from the main stage on Water St., and so who is as expert a commentator as anyone, is the chief proponent of this point of view::

I heard it over in Bunbury near Fullerton Marsh! I used to live at 108 Water Street. Summer had become unbearable and we had to move out for this week and for the festival of the Fathers.

And later, more generally:

The result was that at the height of the summer with windows wide open to keep cool, there was a procession of drunks yelling, vomiting and defacating outside our window.

Alan was another proponent of this general attitude; the thrust of his arguments concerned the proper location for large loud events:

Is what Charlottetown is doing stunned more due to the location rather than the event? Stick it at UPEI next time and set up shuttles.

Justin added his voice too:

Yesterday while I was at work a particularly loud band was playing across the parking lot. Inside my building the only audible sound from them was the bass and drums. I did a 14 hour shift and had about 10 hours of “Bumm ka-boo-boo thumm umm boom boom”. I now understand “Those Drums!!! Stop those drums”. After a day of that I was about in tears when the noise began last night.

Hannah wasn’t necessarily against the concert noise, per se, but more about the consequences:

I do not have an issue with the concerts, though I do not think the Landing Park is an adequate, suitable, or safe place to hold events for thousands of people. I do have an issue with the severe lack of policing, and the lack of planning for obvious (?) things like temporarily closing roads when the concerts finish to let 10,000+ leave safely and quickly (plus more adequate garbage collection).

The other general group of opinion I’ll call the it’s good for business, so put up with it and the closely related you do live downtown, what do you expect?. Andrew was first in on this:

It’s only 3 days a year and the economic impact can be felt for mo[n]ths on the downtown and the island in general.

Nathan continued the trend:

You do live downtown. Mosts cities have loud street noise all hours. For me the noise of garbage and recycling trucks early in the morning where I live is a tradeoff for the all the benefits of living downtow

Lana was most succinct on this point:

As always, it’s a choice to live downtown. Love it or leave it.

Ritchie shares this point of view:

I live downtown and I’m quite prepared to share the experience for a few days with everyone who wishes to come to this festival. Its great for Charlottetown, well organized and improving every year.

Brian agrees:

…Rock Concerts are fun, and it was proven by the ticket sales this weekend. Canada Day should be fun, I think adding some spice downtown for _one_ weekend out of the year is fair. It IS downtown afterall, where things should happen. The buzz brings in much needed business to local shops, and I have a hard time believing that some people are actually complaining about it.

There was a sub-conversation about the idea of notice that I raised — warning downtown residents about the noise to come. This notion was almost universally deemed crazy. Dave says:

but you can’t tell me you didn’t know there was a concert going to go on last night. i mean advertising… warning… it’s a notice either way. and there was plenty of it.

Andrea agrees:

This happens every year, on the same weekend, at the same location for the past several years. I think it would be a gross waste of time and resourses to have the city send out letters to down town residents to say “hey you know that concert that is here every year? Yeah well, it’s happening again, sorry”.

The only person to agree with me about notice was Rob:

It seems to be rule of humanity that if we are to be f*cked and even if we know that this is coming, we need to be kissed first — hence Peter is right — to apologize up front or at least to acknowledge the discomfort and the sacrifice that the residents make upfront is about grace and good manners and allows for acceptance.

Thank you all for your insightful commentary.


Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on July 4, 2003 - 15:50 Permalink

Of course, every year there are complaints about the multitudes of congregates and disturbances of the peace that go along with July 1st celebrations. It seems the main reason that there is more complaining this year is because this concert (by all accounts except mine, because I was in Winsloe and the noise didn’t reach quite that far) was MUCH LOUDER than any previous concert the capital city has hosted. I’m curious, were all the performers that weekend (say Kim Mitchell earlier in the weekend, or Haywire on Canada Day) particularly as loud as the bands on June 30? Or was this extreme loudness due to this particular concert being comprised of ‘heavier’ music? If it was LOUDer than usual because of the type of band that was playing, then I’d say this extreme loudness was an anomaly and next year the presenters will hopefully opt for a less heavy lineup. (I sure did like Rufus Wainwright last year, and he wasn’t too loud.) If it was LOUDer the whole weekend long, then perhaps we have the beginning of a trend, at which point the complaining probably has more validity. My guess is it was so loud because the bands on that night play loud. If that’s the case, then I see no problem, and no reason to uproot what has become a very popular annual event. Unless of course, next year they bring in Anthrax, or Slade or Whitesnake. Perhaps we should all lobby for more singer-songwriters.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 4, 2003 - 16:16 Permalink

All good points but don’t be dissing Slade, Roberto! Music Hall meeting Heavy Metal in 1973 is one of the oddest and my favorite rock anomolies.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 4, 2003 - 19:15 Permalink

Nickleback was the loudest, but Blue Rodeo and Kim Mitchell came close.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on July 4, 2003 - 19:47 Permalink

Sixty-some posts and an executive summary…that should be enough to put this issue to bed.

I wish we could do something about the blasting noise volume that come from car commercials on TV. When they start, I rush to the remote to calm down the noise, and increase it to a level that is hearable when the commercial is over and the golf starts again.

Not related…does anybody know why every car commercial requires wet pavement, even the ones shot with blue sky in places like Palm Springs?

Lana's picture
Lana on July 4, 2003 - 19:59 Permalink

What about the Honda Sonata commercial over the Confederation Bridge one? Bliss.

Justin's picture
Justin on July 5, 2003 - 17:19 Permalink

Opening a new thread can be quite the adventure, huh?

I accept the trend I see as inevitable so thanks for a place to vent, that’s all I needed.

Moving from the epicenter was always a plan of mine because of the general din anyway. One weekend isn’t THE deciding factor, just one of many. If I hear banjo’s though, I’m coming back!

Alan's picture
Alan on July 14, 2003 - 21:38 Permalink

Just to kick the can one…more…time…

Ottawa held its Bluesfest the last two weeks around City Hall which is adjacent to the Centretown and Sandy Hill residential districts. I saw Elvis Costello there on the 5th and it was pretty loud. The City announced it had 3 or 4 complaints about the noise. 20,000 to 24,000 were present at the Blue Rodeo concert this weekend jsut past.