Following the riverfront music festival, Buku Music + Art Project, complaints from all over were lodged about the excessive noise created by the festival, prompting the City Council to initiate taking a larger role in deciding whether such events will be permitted.
The Times-Picayune reported that a new mandate was issued stating that whenever there is an outdoor music event four blocks from either side of the Mississippi River, the council must be notified by the city department.
The event’s amplified music could reportedly be heard for miles, reaching from the Bywater to the Garden District on the east side of the river and from Gretna to Algiers on the west side of the river.
Many people made the case that noise travels further over water, especially when there is no boat traffic late at night to interfere with the sound waves, potentially amplifying the sounds from acts that rocked until 3am on both nights of the progressive music festival.
Nola.com reported that David Baird, owner of Le Citron Bistro in the Lower Garden District, stated shortly after the festival that the walls of his historic building shook as the BUKU music blared from 1,000 feet away. The noise, litter, lack of parking for patrons and concerns about security prompted him to shut his doors for the weekend, he said.
The news site also reported that across the river, Gretna resident Edna Centola reported that the noise was unbearable. “It sounded like it was right in the house with you,” she said. “You didn’t sleep; I did not sleep at all. I was up until after midnight.”
The city of New Orleans no longer has any employees trained to take a decibel reading to determine accurately how loud music and other sounds are, which could be an issue in determining when the noise level becomes a problem. New Orleans officials are still debating whether or not the festival will be held in the same warehouse district location next year.