For Fall Massive, volume has consequences


Moby, at his Saturday DJ performance (Josh Sisk/For The Washington Post)

Here’s the lede of Chris Richards’s Post review:

In Parking Lot 8 of RFK Stadium on Saturday night, Skream and Benga cranked the bass loud enough to remind you how much hair you had on your knuckles.

The only time the music stopped was when the London DJ duo paused to ask the sound engineer to turn it up even more. “This is bass music!” Skream shouted, frustrated with the mix. His gripe felt like a rallying cry. In EDM, more is never enough.

Elsewhere:

Smash Gordon endowed the Tetris theme song with enough bass to tickle your kneecaps, while Zeds Dead dished out convulsive remixes that made the Beatles sound as if they were suffering violent seizures. It was fatiguing — and it was only 9 p.m.

Alas:

But by the time Excision took the stage after midnight, that bass had evaporated. An engineer working the mixing board said that noise complaints had forced the organizers to turn everything down, down, down.

Things were still booming in the neighboring tents.

And now:

Dear Mr. O’Dell,

My office was deluged by calls and emails from neighbors across Ward 6 regarding an outdoor concert that took place on the RFK Stadium grounds the weekend of November 26th. Residents reported that the noise produced by the event was audible inside their homes for over a mile away from the Stadium — with residents in the nearby Hill East neighborhood suffering the brunt of the disruption. From the perspective of time of day, as well as noise control, this concert event far exceeded reasonable expectations. In addition, at approximately 10:30 pm on the 26th, Chief Cathy Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department personally dispatched officers to address the noise complaints due to the repeated complaints of the neighbors.

I ask that you personally review the application for this event, in particular the details related to noise control and duration of the event, and make the changes necessary to ensure this type of incident is not repeated. As an outdoor venue, it appears that no consideration was made regarding the noise levels, the hours of the event, and impact it would have on the surrounding neighborhood.

I appreciate your review of this troubling incident and hope we can work together to ensure this type of disruption is not allowed in the future.

Sincerely,

Tommy Wells

Councilmember, Ward 6

To give you some idea of what you missed:

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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