Ever After Festival sparks over 100 noise complaints Sunday
The 2016 festival only received 7 noise complaints
The last night of the Ever After Music electronic dance music festival at Bingeman's prompted over 100 noise complaints to police, according to Gloria MacNeil, the City of Kitchener's head of bylaw enforcement.
MacNeil said the city is still working to determine what happened Sunday night that prompted so many complaints.
There were 17 noise complaints on Friday, and none during the festival on Saturday, though MacNeil notes one complaint did come in after the festival ended for the night.
But Sunday night prompted a slew of complaints — so many that MacNeil said they don't expect to get the final total from police until Tuesday.
"I was out last night as well, I think there were several factors, it was overcast, wind direction plays a big part of it, I do believe that it being a Sunday night, I think people were maybe at the point where they had been listening all weekend and now were just hoping they could have a quiet Sunday, so I think all of those factors played into it," she said.
MacNeil said the number of complaints was so high, the city is likely going to do a comprehensive review of the event.
By comparison, the festival generated 57 complaints in 2015 for the whole weekend, while in 2016 there were just seven noise complaints.
Sound levels 'too high'
She noted that the festival did not go over 65 decibels, the level set in the noise exemption granted by the city.
"The noise reads we were getting yesterday ... between nine and eleven, were between 55 (decibels) and the highest we got was 62," said MacNeil.
"They didn't exceed the decibel levels that they were given, however, we do recognize from being out last night and hearing that, that 65 is probably way too high of a number given that time of night and just the area," said MacNeil.
"I think for our municipality and the layout of it, it's just too high of a number."
Kitchener residents had to lodge their noise complaint with police, who then contacted a bylaw officer. There was a dedicated bylaw officer who could respond to complaints and take a noise reading, but there were so many complaints MacNeil said she's sure they wouldn't all have been addressed.
MacNeil said she's encouraging city residents to get in touch, because feedback and information will help the city set standards going forward.
"Is it the location where it is, because of how it's set up that is potentially causing the problem, is it the type of music because it's so bassy that people are responding to, that's why I would welcome people to come forward and express what it is that was frustrating for them," she said.
MacNeil said residents can email her directly, firstname.lastname@example.org or the bylaw enforcement department at email@example.com.