Carnival's Noise Causes Controversy in Southwest Suburbs - NBC Chicago

Carnival's Noise Causes Controversy in Southwest Suburbs



    Residents of a southwest suburban city and surrounding areas were thrown off guard when a music festival began blasting music throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning. (Published Saturday, May 25, 2013)

    Residents of a southwest suburb and surrounding areas were thrown off guard when a festival's blasting music continued to boom from Friday night well into Saturday morning.

    The Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-day festival which features more than 250 music events and draws nearly 90,000 attendees, reportedly began erupting an explosive firework show around 1 a.m. Saturday at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet and continued to blare music throughout the evening hours.

    The festival, scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., with interactive art installations, full-scale carnival rides and musical events throughout the night, caused concern from residents of nearby towns when noise traveled nearly 15 miles.

    Calls from residents in nearly a half dozen surrounding towns began calling area police Friday night to complain about the excessive noise that boomed into the early morning hours Saturday.

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    New Lenox Mayor Tim Balderman said he heard the music from his home nearly 10 miles away from the venue, but that the issue was out of their control.

    Balderman spoke with Joliet officials and reiterated residents’ concerns and said he hopes that changes will be made to reduce the festival’s affects.

    “We understand this probably caught them by surprise as far as what it was going do, the impact it was going to have on the neighbors and neighborhoods all around and so they’re very responsive,” he said.

    Balderman said his phone has been ringing nonstop since Friday night as residents express concern over the immense noise.

    “Our house was shaking nonstop,” said Elwood resident Kristen Gassensmith-Yangas. “It was a constant bass from about 10 o’clock last night until probably about six o’clock this morning. It went well past four o’clock.”

    New Lenox resident Chuck Soukup said he was awakened by the music around 2 a.m. to what he thought was a neighbor having a loud party on his block.

    “I’m just outraged that the city of Joliet would allow this level of sound at that time of the day,” he said. “It’s insane.”

    In response to the many complaints, Insomniac Promotions, who organized the festival, said they would lower sound levels by 33 percent at all of their stages and would moving the fireworks show to three hours earlier to help reduce late night noise.

    “We apologize for any disturbance the festival may have caused. It is never our intent to upset residents as we take being a good neighbor very seriously,” the company said in a statement. “As we move forward, we will continue to be responsive to the needs of the local community.”

    Many residents, however, are not convinced that 33 percent will be enough to make a difference.

    “That sound is going to carry so, although I think it will be better than last night, I’m not optimistic that people will have a real peaceful rest the next few nights,” Balderman said.

    The company has reportedly signed a four-year contract with the city of Joliet, with plans to continue with the festival for the next three years.

    Joliet Police Chief Michael Trafton said the carnival has not violated any ordinances or laws but that elected officials will be on hand during the upcoming nights to monitor the event. If things do not improve, he said, the event runs the risk of not being approved in future years.