Morrison residents doubt new Red Rocks noise rules will work - Reverb

Morrison residents doubt new Red Rocks noise rules will work

By Josie Klemaier

MORRISON — The new noise regulations imposed for Red Rocks Amphitheatre by the city of Denver didn’t seem to satisfy Morrison residents or town board members Tuesday night.

An acoustics consultant presented an assessment of the new rules at a town board meeting.

Trustee Mark Williams said the board was thankful for the work Denver did to accommodate complaints about noise from electronic dance music (EDM) concerts. However, according to the board’s hired consultants, the window-rattling low-frequency bass sounds won’t be stifled by the new rules.

“I think Denver’s trying,” said board trustee Sean Forey. “They did something they thought was going to make a difference. I really don’t know if anybody’s going to know until they get up there and have a few concerts and we’ll see what happens.”

Nearly 50 people, many of them who live in Morrison or nearby, packed the town’s small hall to hear the report from noise consultants Jeff Geiler and Joe Erickson.

Geiler and Erickson were hired by the town board to examine and review Denver’s regulations.

Individuals who addressed the board in public comment said that noise consultants hired by Denver came to their homes to test noise levels, but did not record their samples during the most problematic shows. They said they felt that the city’s new regulations didn’t adequately address the main issue: the low-frequency bass that’s been a growing problem for the past two years.

“It feels like it’s travelling through the ground,” Gerry Smith, who lives near the venue, said about the noise she said is nearly inescapable during electronic dance performances at Red Rocks.

When one audience member asked Erikson whether even building a bomb shelter would keep out the low, thumping vibrations caused by the electronic music’s bass, he said “Probably not.”

Audience members nodded in agreement whenever someone mentioned they’ve never had a problem with rock concerts and cited EDM as the culprit.

“We have lived peacefully with Red Rocks for a number of years,” Morrison resident Elizabeth Roth said, a sentiment echoed in other comments.

While some people suggested contacting other groups for help or taking their concerns directly to the city of Denver, Mayor Earl Aukland said the town’s hands are tied until it can see whether Denver’s 2014 regulations for the venue will work and what adjustments will satisfy Red Rocks’ neighbors.

A worst-case scenario could end in a legal battle.

“They don’t know and we don’t know what the effect of these regulations are going to be,” Aukland said. “I think we’ve just got to hold our fire, let’s wait and see.

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Josie Klemaier: 303-954-2465,, @JosieKlemaier

  • Nectar24

    I have a feeling these residents will never be satisfied as long as electronic music is being played at Red Rocks. The low end sound is a huge part of what makes electronic music what it is. People want to feel the music as much as they want to hear it. These events aren’t going away anytime soon so it’s hard to say what will come out of this. On a side note I sure hope the young people make a stance to let the music play loud and clear. Red Rocks is the mecca for anyone who sees their favorite artist there and a lacking sound system isn’t going to cut it.

  • chris

    ummm…don’t move next to a concert venue and complain about noise. Red Rocks opened in 1941, and I’m pretty sure everyone in Morrison knew that it was a concert venue when they moved to town. I live next to C-470, and I can hear the trucks drive down the highway at night, and it sometimes interrupts my sleep. Can the city of Denver please send out some sound engineers to my bedroom to test for noise? Ridiculous.

  • OurFutureToo

    No one goes to a 200,000 watt installation to hear it turned down and that applies for all genres, nor do they pay $80 for a night out of something that isnt as amazing as it can and should be. Unfortunately, ordinances are rarely reversed, and this article talks about how the residents doubt the rules will work. If they turn it down 5%, you’ll notice as a fan at the show trust me, but the residents wont. They will begin to notice once the volume is 40% lower, and you will be so bored and feel like youre at grandma’s county fair that you’ll leave and talk about “Red Rocks used to be amazing..”.