An article published in The Denver Post this morning outlined a new set of regulations the city of Denver will be imposing on Red Rocks regarding noise levels and curfew. Citizens living in the town of Morrison have been less-than-enthusiastic about the levels of bass reverberating from amphitheater and the late timing of EDM shows in particular with some even going so far as to call for a “ban on EDM.” They claim that EDM shows are directly responsible for their grievances and honestly they aren’t wrong; electronic music is designed to push the limits of speakers far beyond the capability of traditional instruments.
Luckily, the city of Denver has taken an exceptionally reasonable, scientific approach and rather than prevent Red Rocks from hosting EDM events, they hired a consultant to study the ambient noise generated by such events. The result is this new list of regulations for 2015, most notably including a lower ceiling on sound pressure (volume) during the entirety of the performance and more strict curfews to event shows from going too long.
The regulations are certainly nothing new when it comes to amphitheaters located close to residential neighborhoods– At the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek Theatre here in Los Angeles, there have long been hard cut-off times for sound (usually 11pm) and exceptionally low limits on volume (I saw My Morning Jacket at the Greek and it was probably the quieter than their practices… on acoustic guitars).
While I think Red Rocks should be able to host whatever genre of music they want to, I understand and sympathize with the town of Morrison and think these regulations are a good thing. EDM shows are not meant to be held at such venues– they’re meant for warehouses and clubs and open outdoor areas. At the expense of doing damage to the business of Red Rocks, shouldn’t promoters be looking for a better, more isolated locale? Maybe 2015 will be the year the renegade style party goes mainstream…
“mainstream renegade”… talk about an oxymoron.
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