New concert hours problematic, say organizers, businesses
Noise complaints lead Charlottetown council to change hours of Victoria Row concert series
Organizers of the concert series on Victoria Row aren't happy with a last-minute change to the hours by Charlottetown council Wednesday.
Mayor Clifford Lee broke a tie vote to change the hours of the concerts from 9 p.m. to midnight to 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
City hall received numerous complaints about noise following the first of the three concerts which took place July 13, said Lee.
Charlottetown's noise bylaw usually shuts down music at 11 p.m., but council voted earlier to make an exception for this series, now in its sixth year.
The change causes a number of problems for organizers, said Mark Fisher, the event's project manager.
"We've gone through such a long process of approvals and work that we've put into this product. We've been down this path for a couple years now. And to have a change last minute is a little frustrating," said Fisher.
"We send out schedules, we're on sale with our tickets. The tickets say 9 p.m., our marketing has all said 9 p.m., and to get last-minute change means that we have to adjust very quickly and a lot of work that we didn't need to do."
Fisher said the performances happen on a small stage without big speakers.
Sam Murphy, general manager of Fishbones, a restaurant on Victoria Row, said his establishment and others on the street are not happy about the change.
"Changing it from 9 to 8 at night pretty much eliminates an hour of dinner service that we're allowed to do. It's really early and it's really light out. People are still eating," said Murphy.
One councillor is suggesting the concerts move to the Charlottetown event site, but organizers said they will fight to stay on Victoria Row.
The next concert is Aug. 3 with the Sheepdogs.