Since concert season began at the Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP) at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, police have received several noise complaints from neighbors. Sgt. Matt Partain is in charge of making sure performers follow the rules.
We joined him as he drove around the neighborhoods surrounding the AMP Tuesday night while metal band Five Finger Death Punch performed. He checked the decibel readings in the area before the concert began and wrote them down so he’d have something to compare them to in case they got a call from a resident claiming the noise is too loud.
"We go over there and read and it is 65,” he said. “That's not much more than normal, but if its 85, then we know there is a problem."
That’s the permitted limit and what the noise needs to measure at the property line.
When Hank Williams, Jr., performed recently, police say they received about a dozen complaints from neighbors. But concert-goers say it literally comes with the territory, now that the AMP is in a new location.
“If I were to live close to the AMP theater, it wouldn't bother me at all, getting to hear free music," said Margarita Rodriguez.
If the noise gets too loud, Sgt. Partain tells AMP engineers to bring it down a little. The AMP has requested a variance, giving them a little leeway.
“That just gives you that safety net if you go over the normal variance set by the city ordinance," Sgt. Partain said.
If the AMP goes over 85 decibels, they can be cited by police. But so far they haven’t, according to Sgt. Partain.