Officials Receive Hundreds of Complaints Over New Concert Venue

The city police received 237 complaints after Sunday's Anderson .Paak show

A new Maine concert venue hosted its first show Sunday night. It was an opening some living nearby say was a little too loud.

"If we're doing concerts now they've got to find a way to manage this now," Westbrook City Administrator Jerre Bryant said.

The city police received 237 complaints after Anderson .Paak performed Sunday night at the new 8,000-plus seat Maine Savings Pavillion.

"The surprise was not that there were complaints but where they came from," Bryant said.

What planners didn't expect was to get complaints from neighborhoods as far as Portland.

"I just think the whole thing is a bad idea," Portland resident Phyllis Guevin said.

Guevin says a Westbrook official returned her calls after she spoke with NBC10 and police. But she is still not satisfied with their response. She says the noise complaint hotline that was set up by concert organizers was full when she called it.

For the next show, which is scheduled for June 15, Westbrook leaders say concert organizers should check affected neighborhoods.

"Clearly we didn't have enough monitors out there," Bryant said.

They also want the emails and phone calls to keep coming with notes on where the noise is being heard.

"I don't need anymore stresors in my life," Guevin said.

Officials do not want the venue to cause stress, so they are holding a public noise comment meeting on June 10. 

Meanwhile, Alex Gray, whose company, Waterfront Concerts, organized Sunday’s show says noise data is being collected.

He said ambient noise tests were also done, but different artists have different PA systems and other variables like weather can affect concert volume.

Gray’s hope is the venue will become “a good neighbor” after tweaks are made to aspects of each show like changing PA system heights and adjusting “control volumes and mix positions.”

Waterfront Concerts had a similar experience when launching the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, when, according to Gray, his company dealt with “hundreds of noise complaints.”

The residents most affected by the noise hope those changes are made immediately since the Maine Savings Pavilion has more than a dozen shows on its schedule for Summer 2019.

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