JPJ Arena Too Loud?

Reader Charles Marsh sent me this: “Two weeks ago, around 10:00 on a Wednesday night, the Venable neighborhood was treated to intermittent blasts of exceedingly loud music which continued for an hour and a half period. The next day, we learned that the source of the music had been the new John Paul Jones arena, whose managers had run tests on the new state-of-the-art sound system. The cause for concern to Venable neighborhood residents is great. In every neighborhood meeting with arena planners over the past three years, our questions about potential noise problems have been answered with the promise that the arena would be acoustically insulated; noise pollution should be the least of our worries. But the music from a routine sound test in the arena could be heard loudly inside our homes and thus portends a long and difficult future for arena-community relations. The failure to keep this simple promise threatens the quality of life in a neighborhood that has been remarkably supportive of the university’s ambitious plans for growth.”

Did anybody else experience this? If the volume of concerts is going to be that loud, I think the resulting fight is going to be much worse than the Belmont/amphitheater volume problem.

4 Responses to “JPJ Arena Too Loud?”

  • Good luck…..if you think the City doesn’t care (which was fairly obvious from Belmont’s perspective…), I can’t imagine that UVa will be much more considerate.

  • Is the Pavilion still bad as far as noise “escaping?” I recall reading somewhere that with the increased acoustical baffling, the extra tarp blocking the free view from the Belmont Bridge, and the structure that will be the transportation center (ugh, is that thing going to be ugly), the music making its way into Belmont isn’t nearly as bad now, 11 months after opening, as it was last summer.

  • There haven’t been many concerts, especially rock concerts, so it’s a little hard to tell yet. But, if the Montgomery Gentry noise level is any indication of what’s in store, the noise level is not much better than last year. I know Belmont folks who can still hear the major concerts inside their house, which seems to me the tipping point for noise levels being a nuisance.

  • I wouldn’t get too worked up about a test – it seems reasonable that the arena would need to test its sound system – if only to see if any additional sound-proofing is needed. I would question the need to perform the test at 10:00 at night, however. I suppose it’s possible they chose that hour because there would be a minimum of ambient noise, and perhaps they’d be able to truly judge the arena’s noise impact, but it’s hard not to wonder if the noise wasn’t from another source. If it was a test, it would have been a good idea to alert people. And if it was a test, I would think the neighbors would be glad that they were testing – in order to find out where to put that volume knob to keep noise from escaping, you have to exceed the limit to know where it is,which sounds like something the pavilion didn’t do.

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