Nashville Amphitheater Noise Irks Locals

Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP
– Beck
Beck plays iHeartRadio Alter Ego at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Jan. 19.

Residents complained to authorities of noise after a Beck show at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater May 6.

The complaints rolled in through social media during the show to such a degree that Metro councilman Brett Withers wrote on Twitter: “I am receiving quite a few constituent contacts about noise from tonight’s concert at @Ascend_amp. Please contact @MetroParksNash staff who monitor noise complaints by writing to [email protected]. Include your name and address for complaint tracking purposes.”

He went on to say: “Most concerts at Ascend Amphitheater generate no noise complaints. The effort here is to find technology that can guide adjustments to minimize disturbances. Shows that require a ‘loud’ volume experience may be better suited for other Live Nation-managed venues in Nashville.”

Locals’ problems with noise from shows at the city-owned Ascend Amphitheater has been an ongoing issue since the venue opened in 2015. Live Nation, which manages and books the shed, was asked in 2016 to install a system to monitor sound levels and to contractually mandate restrictions with artists booked.

Live Nation issued a statement, provided to Pollstar, stating that noise levels were within “acceptable” levels for the Beck show, and that if it exceeded regulations then the artist would be fined.

“Although we are not weather specialists, we believe the Sunday evening dew point and humidity indexes created a condition that allowed for sound to carry further than usual,” Live Nation said in a statement. “While we can’t control the weather, as part of the Nashville community we are committed to being good neighbors by imposing decibel level standard, and will continue to work on this issue with Metro Parks. As part of that effort, along with Metro Parks we are finalizing plans to install additional sound monitoring equipment to address concert volume in downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

This didn’t seem to appease locals, whose comments included: “Your concert is shaking our house 2+ miles away in East Nashville. This nonsense has to stop, been going on for years,” and “I live 2.5 miles away and could clearly hear this concert. This is absurd!”

Peter Frampton weighed in on Twitter, stating: “The Ascend is a great venue to play. It’s unfortunate that the location is causing a sound carrying issue. A curfew is good but reducing sound levels for artists and audience is not. Frustrating hearing ppl shouting turn it up!”

Ascend Amphitheater continues to have a busy schedule for amphitheater season, with performances scheduled from Vance Joy (May 10), Odesza (May 12), Willie Nelson (May 18), Portugal. The Man (May 19) and Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers (May 20). The venue came in at No. 47 last year on Pollstar’s 2017 Top 100 Amphitheatres chart, with 153,149 tickets reported.

This story was first broken by The Tennessean.