Red Rocks Ampitheater New Sound Ordinances
Red Rocks Amphitheater is the most well-known venue in all of Colorado and debatably the whole country. The magical venue has been around for over 100 years, and continues to host some the biggest shows in the world. Anyone who has been to Red Rocks can attain to its awesomeness, as this venue brings some of the most positive vibes that can be found anywhere in the world. Legends such as Daft Punk,The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix are just some of the hundreds of incredible artists who have hosted a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater during some point in the venues history. Red Rocks Park is a mountain park in Jefferson County, Colorado, owned and maintained by the city of Denver as part of the Denver Mountain Parks system. Carved into the cliff of a mountain, Red Rocks Amphitheater has recently been receiving a lot of criticism for excessive loudness and an overwhelming amount of bass by many of the locals who live in close proximity to the Amphitheater.
The complaints began to accumulate with the rise of electronic dance music, thus spurring the home town of Red Rocks, Morrison, Colorado to hire a noise consultant to offer insight during the meeting concerning the noise levels on March 4th. The meeting was set in place to discuss bass levels and performance end times for all of the shows scheduled to occur this summer. One rule looks at the average decibels for the whole show, and that it shall not exceed 105 decibels for one-minute averages after midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends and holidays. Another rule refers to bass levels, stating that they can't exceed 125 decibels at the low-frequency levels of 25-80 hertz for one-minute averages after midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends and holidays. The levels will be measured by the city's equipment at the front-of-house mix position. Performers face potential charges of $10,000 for every five times, consecutive or not, that the one-minute decibel limit is exceeded in a given performance. Similarly, performers face a $5,000 fine for each 30-minute increment they are in violation of the curfews listed.
"Red Rocks has been a world-class music venue for more than 70 years now and we're constantly policing ourselves to make sure this cherished venue is operated with our public's best interests in mind," said Dan Rowland, assistant director of marketing and communications for Denver Arts & Venues. "These guidelines are intended to address the two to three complaints we've gotten the last couple of years related to these very specific shows."
Although most people are looking at this situation in a negative manner, some artists, such as Colorado’s very own Michal Menert, make an excellent point in stating that these bass reductions are actually a good thing for the future of electronic dance music.
"It will be less in-your-face sound coming at you and more dynamic." stated Menert. "If anything, this is going to bring more dynamic out in the music because it will allow more frequencies to breathe,"
The future of Red Rocks Amphitheater is somewhat unclear at this current point in time. It will be interesting to see how these new restrictions actually play out during the venue’s largest shows of the summer. Artists such as Gramatik, Bassnectar, and Nero are all scheduled to perform this summer, and each of these producers are sure to bring an immense amount of bass and energy with them to their individual shows. I personally am curious to see if artists will actually follow these restrictions, or if they will simply ignore them and take the fine associated with breaking the rules, as I am sure taking a financial hit of that size is not even going to make the slightest dent in these huge producer’s wallets.
With that being said, Red Rocks is still sure to host some incredible shows this summer, as this venue is far too beautiful to be deserted due to a couple restrictions. This summer’s lineup is jam packed of incredible shows including Ellie Goulding, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Pretty Lights, Zeds Dead, and numerous other huge headliners. A full schedule of the Red Rocks summer lineup can be found here. Regardless of what Red Rocks show you attend, it is sure to be a great experience solely because of the venue itself. Be sure to make your way to a Red Rocks show if possible this summer, as it is guaranteed to be one of the best evenings of your life, no matter what noise policies are put in place.
Written By: Cooper Turley