Concert draws most noise complaints
A new arena layout and more than 10,000 people at Mt Smart Stadium for WestFest on a Tuesday night are being seen as contributors to the high volume of noise complaints that evening.
Plans for a third WestFest are on the table but organisers are unsure where it will be held.
The rock and metal festival moved to Mt Smart Stadium after launching at Trusts Arena in Henderson last year.
Auckland Council says the March 3 event prompted 52 noise complaints.
WestFest produced the most complaints of any rock or similar music event at Mt Smart since 2010.
The now defunct Big Day Out festival was last held at Mt Smart in 2012 and received fewer than five complaints, predominantly from nearby businesses.
Council environmental health manager Mervyn Chetty says only one complaint was received for the Rolling Stones gig held at the stadium in November.
No complaints were received by the council when the Foo Fighters played there. Chetty says a significant number of complaints were made in 2010 during U2’s pre-concert soundcheck, but none were received for their actual concert.
WestFest complied with the city’s noise limits.
A council noise specialist was on site and WestFest publicist John Baker says the high volume of complaints could be attributed to a new layout used at Mt Smart specifically for the rock festival.
‘‘The main stadium was not used, and our main stage was closer to the perimeter than what is usually the norm. It also faced south,’’ Baker says.
The fact the festival was on a Tuesday in March, rather than a weekend in January or February, may also have contributed to the high number of complaints, Baker says.
‘‘The lineup also featured performers perhaps not that well known to local residents.’’
The council ‘‘takes the concerns of surrounding proper- ties about noise levels very seriously’’, Chetty says.
He says festival organisers voluntarily reduced noise levels in response to the number of complaints that were being received.
The maximum decibel noise the event was allowed to hit on the night was 78 decibels. WestFest registered 71 decibels at surrounding residences, Chetty says.
Organisers spent a year planning the festival and Baker says the 10,000 people who attended were wellbehaved.