PORTLAND, Maine — City councilors in Portland have penned a noise complaint letter to those at Westbrook's Rock Row and Waterfront Concerts to address noise complaints they have received from residents all summer.
"These activities have impeded on our residents' rights to enjoy their lives in reasonable peace," the letter reads. "The excessive noise traveling miles into Portland neighborhoods is beyond a mere disturbance."
The venue has received criticism and complaints over the amount of noise it has created since it's first show earlier this summer.
On June 18, staff posted on the Rock Row Facebook page, noting a number of changes to "minimize any excess noise," including:
- Hanging the Maine Savings Pavilion speakers lower and angled them more towards the ground.
- Putting the subwoofers on the stage vs. the ground to help alleviate vibrations.
- Reducing the 63hz frequency in an attempt to lessen bass impact.
Despite promises for change, complaints continued to flood the venue all summer.
City councilors accuse the venue and concert promoter of not properly handling complaints and allowing the issue to go on for far too long. On top of the noise, councilors say the venue is putting the public's health and safety at risk.
"This past Saturday, roughly 20 young adults arrived at Maine Medical Center's Emergency Department, from Maine Savings Pavillion at Rock Row via EMS, with complications from intoxication," the letter goes on to say. "With that many young individuals being over served or handily accessing drugs and alcohol at a concert, we cannot believe that this venue has the best interests of its patrons at heart."
Now, councilors are asking the venue and promoter to provide them with a number of pieces of information, to better understand how and if those Rock Row noise complaints were handled.
- Decibel readings for each show
- Which shows were amplified on the venue system or that of the artist
- Exact locations of the monitors
- At which shows was sound lowered during the performance due to excessive noise
In addition, councilors are also looking for details surrounding how the venue has been organizing complaints as well as what kind of plan they have to lower the volume at Rock Row in the future.
"This council necessitates a comprehensive understanding of objective interventions Waterfront Concerts plans to implement in order to protect their patrons, neighbors, and overall quality of life that has been so profoundly disrupted this summer." the letter ends.
The developer, Waterstone Properties, said in a statement, "the owners of Rock Row always want to be good neighbors and take the concerns of our host community of Westbrook and neighboring Portland very seriously. Since the very first concert we have worked closely with the operator, Waterfront Concerts, to mitigate noise concerns and take swift, meaningful measures to lower sound levels coming from the venue. As a result, we have continuously monitored and stayed well below the allowed decibel levels in affected neighborhoods and have seen a drop in noise complaints by more than 90%. All of our data will be shared with Portland, per their request, and our community outreach and efforts to monitor and address this situation will continue. We look forward to productive, ongoing dialogue with the Westbrook and Portland City Councils on this important issue.”
They also said only seven people were transported to the hospital during that concert, and are not sure if all were related to intoxication. The next concert will be September 28th.