Every hard rock fan knows that metal riffs and moshing are best enjoyed at maximum volume, so does Soundwave Festival, which is why it annually brings some of the biggest and loudest bands in the business Down Under.
But Soundwave boss AJ Maddah and his team have been given a rather pricey slap on the wrist for providing fans with a beefy soundtrack at their one-day festival over in Adelaide, where council found that this year’s Soundwave 2014 tour was found in breach of the City of Churches’ noise restrictions.
The promoter has forfeited a $10,000 bond after last month’s Soundwave in Adelaide was found to be in breach of noise limitations imposed on the festival by Adelaide City Council, as ABC News (via FasterLouder) reports.
The one-day event, which featured the likes of Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Mastodon, and GWAR (RIP Oderus Ungurus) among more than 90 bands spread across five stages, was hosted at Adelaide’s Bonython Park and Adelaide City Council’s noise monitoring revealed that at least one stage exceeded the limit of 110 decibels for over 70% of the festival’s duration.
By comparison, the human ear tends to sustain damage and hearing loss from sounds above 85 decibels, so that’s approximately seven hours where the festival has been accused of blasting neighbouring North Adelaide residents with the sounds of the event, leading City Council to to receive numerous noise complaints from the Bonython Park area. Noise monitoring revealed that at least one stage exceeded the limit of 110 decibels for over 70% of the festival’s duration.
Adelaide councillors are considering raising the price of the current $10k bond to ensure volume levels aren’t breached in future, according to Councillor David Plumridge.
“We want to see these bands come to Adelaide,” he tells ABC News, but that council is urging festival promoters to look for alternative sites to avoid conflict over excessive volumes.
“We’ve established a new events space in the western parklands beside the Adelaide High School that’s fairly well away from a lot of people there. We would encourage these kinds of events to go out there.
“We’ve done sound modelling for each of the local sites [music events] use and we’ve got appropriate locations to put the stages, which way to face them, all that work’s been done and then we have set these levels of sound which we think are reasonable and in line with the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) standards,” Mr Plumridge details.
Neither Soundwave Festival or Maddah has yet to publicly comment on the noise breach or $10,000 fine. But it hopefully shouldn’t affect Soundwave’s return to Adelaide next year, even as the promoter has blamed previously blamed ongoing battles with interfering local government and council – as well as the high costs of staging Soundwave – for driving the festival out of Perth.
Maddah has already confirmed that this year’s Perth Soundwave was – like the Big Day Out – to be the last hosted in the WA capital, a decision that “devastated” the festival promoter as the event is scaled back to be an “East Coast only” event in future.
“It’s [about] the combination of the perfect shitstorm of the Perth governments – both local and state level – being very difficult and making it really clear that they don’t really want to deal with festivals,” Maddah explained earlier this year. “They don’t really care if we don’t go there.”
Despite poor attendance reports and ticket sales from the Perth leg potentially pulling down the remainder of the festival, it hasn’t halted Maddah’s progress on Soundwave’s return next year bigger and better.
It may only be a month since the dust settled on February’s Soundwave, but already the “lineup is coming along quite rapidly” for the 2015 edition, as Maddah recently revealed amidst a number of bands and artists being tossed about for next year’s edition, including Disturbed, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Fear Factory, Social Distortion, Papa Roach, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Opeth, Lamb Of God, and many more.
In fact, as Maddah revealed on his fertile twitter feed overnight, the first Soundwave 2014 announcement will be with us in a matter of weeks…
We have a little announcement regarding #SW15 next month :)
— AJ (@iamnotshouting) March 31, 2014