Dick Newman: What do you do when the music plays loud?

July 28, 2018

The past week, I attended two outdoor concerts and had the same experience at each. At the first concert, I arrived early enough to get a seat close to the stage.

When the MC came out to bring on the band, I felt his volume was almost unbearable, but didn’t think what the band might be like. Well, I soon found out. The volume was so great that I couldn’t hear people talking to me and they couldn’t hear me talking to them.

Feeling I might be losing my mind, I climbed to the top of the amphitheater. Well it was still too loud for me. So I decided to look over the food vendors. I settled on one and received the best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted.

Back to the sound, I later found the promoter and asked if the sound was over OSHA standards and was told she didn’t know. I asked if they had a sound meter and she said they didn’t.

The promoter looked at me and told me in all the years she had put on concerts, I had been the only person to raise such a concern.

At the second concert, I felt the sound may have been loud enough to knock down some nearby buildings, yet folks sat right in front of the stage and politely applauded each song.

I went in an adjacent bookstore to check out the current reading scene and to me the sound was about right in there, providing the door was closed.

Granted I go back to the days of the wire recorder and big band dances, but is it too loud today?

Are there city ordinances for sound levels?

I do remember talking to a young man several years ago and he told me he could not enjoy a concert unless the sound made his chest thump.

At the time, I wondered to myself what his concerts might be doing to his head. I wonder if he made those last two shows, at least he would have been happy.

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