I disagree with Katy Marshall’s opinion (Maine Voices, Aug. 16) about noise complaints, including the ones from those of us deeply concerned with the management of Rock Row outdoor concerts. She moved into a neighborhood with pre-existing noise levels from industry and she accepts that as the cost of living in that neighborhood. Those of us over a mile away from Westbrook’s Rock Row chose to live in neighborhoods that are not inclusive of industrial or other loud businesses.

According to the Rock Row management at the meeting I attended in Westbrook on Aug. 12, there is no way for the engineers to fine tune the volume so that the noise will not carry miles away. The reasons given included changing wind directions, atmospheric conditions and bands using their own sound systems instead of the one provided by management. These reasons should be enough to prevent their planned building of a permanent venue that would be enclosed in poor weather, but still open in the summer.

Rock Row may actually be, as they claim, staying within the decibel level set by the municipality, but the decibel measurement means nothing. If it can be heard miles away, it is very obviously too loud by any definition. Instead of focusing on how high they can push the volume, how about focusing on how loud it needs to be to reach the back row?

Summer is a short season and I, like most others, would like the opportunity to sit outside on warm nights to talk with friends or to just to leave the windows open. These are simple pleasures that have suddenly been taken away from us each night there is a concert. We’re not mean or grouchy people who don’t like music. We just don’t want it forced on us by a loud party in the house next door or a loud concert miles away.

Shelley Dunn


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