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.
Josie Klemaier: 303-954-2465, firstname.lastname@example.org, @JosieKlemaier