Category Archives: Press

Recent Developments

As we approach the end of yet another concert season, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the noise world.

Yes, Bassnectar did not appear at Red Rocks this year, after his demonstrated disdain for the Denver noise restrictions last year. Where did he go? Ask the folks at Commerce City:

Angry Residents Thought Bassnectar Concert ‘Was An Earthquake’, CBSLocal, August 1, 2016

Since April 19, Morrison area residents have posted 175 “surveys” reporting their experiences with this year’s concerts. Of those, 150 qualify as complaints, with ratings of 3 and higher on a 5-point scale. For comparison, 2015 was the first year Denver Arts & Venues managed the new surveys: 170 reports were filed during the same period (April 19 – Sept 16); 140 were complaints (including 30 complaints received just on Bassnectar). In 2014, when our group used a simple survey, 480 reports were filed on 96 concerts.

Denver noise clampdown gets support, but some event organizers say fines are unavoidable, Denver Post, September 16, 2016

To date, at last report to us, no fines have been levied at Red Rocks Amphitheatre this year, despite 150 complaints.*

A few resident comments:

“It is after 11 and once again we have an extremely loud concert. If this is within the limits then something is wrong. I don’t think the county would allow this amount of noise to spill over from a concert venue.” (July 20)

“I just put in a complaint on the survey for loud, pounding noise from Red Rocks @ 2:30 in the afternoon. I hope this doesn’t mean we are in for a loud night/weekend!” (August 31)

“Seems like it’s getting worse, now that we’re inside, ready to TRY to sleep. … We’ve had complaints up here since the sound check this afternoon.” (August 31)

“Loud pounding again tonight. It is 10:30 and we can feel the percussion and hear the noise.” (August 31)

* Yes, there has been some improvement, largely because earlier concert ending times are being observed.

In the News at the Denver Post

Two new articles in the Denver Post hit the news stands this weekend, and all we can say is… Thanks for noticing! We’ve been concerned about increasing concert numbers for a while. Anyway, the latest figures, for your reading pleasure:

Red Rocks an even bigger cash cow for Denver with growth in booked shows, by Jon Murray, June 3, 2016 Denver Post
(Republished in Sunday’s Post under the title: Red Rocks becomes the color of money with many shows)

Worth noting: The info presented by the Post for 2015 reports 138 concerts—even more than our calculations*—and 25 more than the previous year!

The second article focuses more on the cachet, and potential loss thereof, associated with playing this iconic venue.

Does playing Red Rocks still mean anything?, by Dylan Owens, June 2, 2016 Denver Post
(Republished in Sunday’s Post under the title: More shows than ever, but is that all good?)

Meanwhile, from our spot on the hill, last night (Disco Biscuits) was mellow, quiet even. Thank you!! The previous night (Rebelution) not so much. Please, if you are being disrupted by concert noise (or even if you’re not), be sure to keep recording your experience at the Sound Survey page, no matter how frustrating it is. People are watching and, other than direct feedback to the Mayor, it’s our best avenue for comment at the moment.

We have to ask: Is there any end, or does this increase continue unchecked?

* Here’s our graph from last year.

Concert numbers vary by year, but the 3-year rolling averages show general upward trend. Data from Westword.com and RedRocksOnline concert archive.
Concert numbers vary by year, but the 3-year rolling averages show general upward trend. Data from Westword.com and RedRocksOnline concert archive.

Recent Press for Red Rocks

Remember: for every story, there’s a flip side.

Fox News coverage of 2015 Global Dub: “it’s like a James Taylor concert” says a neighbor. Flip side: that was Friday. Saturday night was another story, say neighbors!


Construction projects planned at Red Rocks venue will serve patrons: “these construction plans are solely aimed at creating an easier and more efficient experience for their attendees.” Reported at YourEDM.com

Changes ahead for 2016, reports 9News

Flip side: Critics say planned construction will damage historic features in the park. See more at CBS Local. Some concert fans are opposed to parking lot paving.
Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission will consider the proposals Tuesday 5/19/15.

What’s New with Red Rocks Noise?

As reported recently in the Denver Post, Morrison has approached Jefferson County for assistance with the noise concerns about Red Rocks concerts. Public meetings are expected in coming weeks; in the meantime Denver, Jeffco, and Morrison town officials are all trying to get a handle on how to deal with concerns.

Morrison presses Jeffco commissioners for help on Red Rocks noise issue, posted 11/19/14

This article by Josie Klemaier was followed by a Post editorial. Public comments follow both articles.

Here are our final results for the 2014 season, based on subjective responses of area residents. Note that ratings (from 1 to 5) were collected for 66 of the 105 concerts. Concerts not rated were given a “1” shaded in gray. Click image to see a readable pdf.

2014season

Sixty-five percent of all responses were 1s or 2s; 20% were 4s and 5s. Only 15 of the concerts rated got any 5s; 29 got 4s. Clearly, most concerts can be successful (and profitable for Denver) without creating major annoyance.

Skrillex Tonight!

Update: Skrillex concert reported to go as scheduled despite last night’s shooting, reports Chris Jose via Twitter.

A little more press on Red Rocks noise concerns hit the streets this week, as Skrillex hits the Rocks tonight.

First up was the Denver Post report by Josie Klemaier on Morrison’s plans to monitor EDM concerts.

Reverb featured an interview with Skrillex today, and asked him about the noise restrictions at Red Rocks.

Do regulations like these impact how you build your shows?

Not really… I think **kids are having fun regardless, and I think a lot of the times sound is pushed harder than it needs to be**. I bring out my own sound system and my own sound techs. **We work hard to make sure the sound is at a comfortable level and not so loud** to the point where you’re like “[expl-deleted] this hurts”.

Are these noise restrictions something you commonly have to deal with? Do you agree with it?

I don’t look at anything as restrictions. Just challenges to be spontaneous. I think **as a concert goer you don’t notice these subtle differences**. If the vibe and energy of the crowd is on point and if you have a good lineup and a good venue people usually don’t complain about the stuff.

(Emphasis added.)

We’ll roll out the noise surveys tonight as usual. Watch for it.

Post Global Dub: The New Normal?

The first EDM concert of the season brought a lot of attention to focus on the issue of concert noise concerns. Here’s a quick reference page to recent press coverage, during and after the tour by Morrison, Jeffco, and Denver officials during Global Dub Friday night, May 16. Most of these have videos associated with them.

CBS4’s Kelly Werthman’s report on the tour by officials, Dance Music Noise Level Measured During Red Rocks Concert, featured interviews with local residents,
but the Global Dub Festival maintained respectably low sound levels most of the evening.


Josie Klemaier also came out Friday night and filed this story for The Denver Post: EDM fans, Red Rocks neighbors monitor noise

“It really wasn’t very loud,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Casey Tighe, who accompanied Morrison Mayor Sean Forey, Denver Arts and Venues’ Dan Rowland and others on a late-night tour of the neighborhoods. “We went to various houses, and the neighbors remarked it was much more tolerable.”

For those who haven’t attended, the Denver Post provided videos that capture some of the concert experience.

The Daily Camera in Boulder picked up the Denver Post story: EDM fans, Red Rocks neighbors monitor noise.


At KDVR Fox 31, Red Rocks neighbors happy with new noise restrictions suggested “problem solved.”

The Mayor of Morrison, along with Jefferson County commissioner Casey Tighe, went door-to-door during the concert, listening to the faint EDM sounds reverberating from Red Rocks.

“Tonight was a positive night; very encouraging,” Tighe said. “The sound wasn’t too loud in the neighborhood. When we went to the venue, it seemed like people were having a good time. It seems like we found a good mix of sound in the venue and sound in the neighborhoods.”

We wouldn’t say “happy,” KDVR, we’d say “cautiously optimistic.” Trust and verify.

We remain hopeful that Denver intends to regain “good neighbor” status; we will continue to monitor what happens with the remaining concert season.

When we thanked Casey Tighe, he replied “Everyone has been very reasonable and respectful throughout the whole process. I think that approach has helped with the success we achieved. …as long as we keep positive lines of communication open I think this will work out.”

With Bassnectar coming in just 10 days, we certainly hope so.

Catching up with Channel 2 News

Officials to see how noisy Red Rocks concerts are for nearby neighbors, posted May 15, 2014, 10:50 p.m.

VIDEO: Officials to see how noisy Red Rocks concerts are for nearby neighbors, posted May 15, 2014, 9:05 p.m.

Morrison residents want Red Rocks to crank down the noise, posted April 25, 2014

VIDEO: Residents want the volume turned down at some Red Rocks concerts, posted April 25, 2014 (covering April 25 meeting)

Complaints lead to new Red Rocks Amphitheater noise restrictions, posted March 4, 2014

Red Rocks at Westword

How did we miss this? Apparently Westword has been keeping busy on Red Rocks issues lately.

Today’s Westword, May 12:
Red Rocks revenue doubles in five years and here’s why

April 4: Something new to look forward to:
Behind Mayhem Festival’s controversial move to Red Rocks

May 7: We’ve been wondering about this too:
Could loud EDM music cause rocks to fall?
(Related to Red Rocks lawsuit over rockfall injuries)

April 4: Will there be a John Denver exhibit near you?
Plans revealed for permanent Colorado Music Hall of Fame at Red Rocks

Keegan at The Post

In Friday’s The Denver Post, Teresa Keegan weighed in with an entertaining opinion piece to lighten the Red Rocks noise discussion.

Keegan reviews the history of noise abatement in the name of congenial society, and comments:

However, while Red Rocks’ noise-weary neighbors may yearn to hear only “The Sounds of Silence” emanating from that ancient sandstone edifice, to their credit, they are not pushing to cancel the entire 2014 electronic dance music — or EDM — concert lineup.

…the dispute over decibel levels at Red Rocks becomes more about public health and less about a bunch of old coots spoiling all the fun for the “Come On Feel the Noise” crowd.

Read the online version here.

Latest News Coverage

On April 21, music site Dancing Astronaut picked up the Denver Post article from the same date; original article here. In the DP story, Morrison Mayor Sean Forey is quoted as saying: “You can get the craziest Metallica concert, and that’s not even close to what we’re talking about. This is something new and different than anything in the past.”

CBS Local News followed suit with New Noise is Bad Noise, also on Monday.

Then Tuesday, The Denver Post took a position, in an editorial supporting our concerns.  See our post on that here.

Interest at this new website grew through Wednesday and Thursday as we approached the meeting with Jeffco and Morrison; we posted our highest ever (so far) visits on Thursday. Reporters from The Denver Post, Fox 31 News, and CBS Local News attended the meeting, which we consider a good first step toward resolving the problem.

Just before the meeting, Fox News visited Morrison and posted this video and story.

Afterward, The Denver Post followed up with an article that covered how the sound travels. In it, Anthony Graves, Denver’s regional affairs director, is quoted: 

“If we do diminish those levels, do we risk having those revenues go away?” Graves said of the money Denver collects from shows held at the vaunted sandstone venue. 

CBS Local News also covered the story, including an interview of area resident Hadi Soetrisno.

If you haven’t been to a concert lately and want to get a feel for what they’re like, check out this photo gallery Slightly Stoopid posted of their non-EDM April 19 concert.