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Waterfront Sound Debate Continues

The concerts may be done but the debate isn’t.

A committee of residents, Waterfront Concerts staff and city officials met yesterday to discuss the continuing battle of sound waves. The battle has been raging on since the first waterfront concert three years ago. While some say the concerts are a huge economic boost for Bangor, others say they’re too loud.

Waterfront Concerts reoriented the stage towards downtown, built small beer tent buildings and did ground work to make the venue a more permanent fixture. However moving the stage appears to not have been enough as sound complaints continued to pour in.

The two hour conference included a talk with Benjamin Markham from the company, Acentech. He conducted a sound study in Bangor last year and offered options to aid in finding a happy medium between residents and concert goers. The low-end bass tones are the main cause of complaints. The booming low-end is much harder to muffle. Mid to high-end tones are easily blocked by downtown’s taller buildings.

Markham listed off a few sound control options:

  • Fencing – Taller fencing could help control the high-end tones that travel in a ‘line of sight fashion.’ However, tall fencing will obstruct the view of the nearby Penobscot river.
  • A Roofed Structure – It could be a sound cure-all, but the structure would be very tall and definitely obstruct the view of the river.
  • Turn the Music Down – An obvious solution but would surely be angering to concertgoers.

Markham added that if Bangor implements too many restrictions performers will not want to come to the city.

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