JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After months of research and debate, Jacksonville’s City Council approves new curfews and noise regulations for music and festivals at Met Park.
“It means a lot that we can concentrate on the business of bringing patrons and people from all around the country and all around the region to Jacksonville,” says Mike Yokan, a co-promoter for “The Big Ticket” and “Welcome to Rockville”, which are concerts held at Met Park.
City Council approved the bill by a 17 to 1 vote. One member was absent, and Councilman Stephen Joost was only one to vote against it.
The permitted event hours are the following:
Friday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. (if before a Monday holiday, then hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.).
A half-hour extension is permitted if there are weather delays.
The music noise cannot exceed 105 decibels (dB), which is about the same volume as if you were standing three feet away from a power mower. Each event will have staff on site to measure the noise for five minutes. If the noise exceeds 105 dB, the concert staff is notified. If a correction is not made before the next measurement ten minutes later, then a fine is issued. The bill says costs shall not exceed $1000 per day for the workers who monitor the sound.
Fines range from the following:
-$250 for noise that is louder than 105 dB but less than 108 dB
-$500 for noise louder than 108 dB but less than 110 dB
-$1000 for noise greater than 110 dB but less than 112 dB
-$1500 for noise greater than 112 dB but less than 115 dB
-$2000 for noise greater than 115 dB
Fines are issued for each occurrence of a violation.
The new bill does not include the “pull the plug” cause that was contested in older versions of the bill. Under that clause, the city would’ve been allowed to turn off the music and vacate the park if deemed necessary.
“That was just a dangerous, dangerous idea. You don’t simply just shut off the sound system and tell people to go home,” Yokan says.
Yokan says this is still a work in progress.
“Jazzfest and Florida Country Superfest will be six hundred to a thousand feet away from Met Park, and there is no noise standard that’s going to be enforced for either of those events, so we’d like to see some monitoring done for those shows,” he says.
If not, Yokan says they’ll go right back to City Hall.