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Amphitheater might not be loud enough for concertgoers

In trying to limit the noise from Raleigh's downtown amphitheater to nearby residents, officials may have turned the volume too low for people attending concerts.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The new amphitheater in downtown Raleigh is trying to find the right note for both concertgoers and nearby residents.

"It's a work in progress," said Roger Krupa, director of the Raleigh Convention Center, which operates the amphitheater. "You always have to be cognizant of what impact you're going to have on your surrounding neighborhoods."

Nearby residents said they had no concerns after the amphitheater's opening concerts on Friday and Sunday nights.

"I didn't have any problems, not at all," said Jake Brennan, who can see the amphitheater from his home in the Boylan Heights neighborhood. "I couldn't hear it. I wasn't really thinking to listen for it, but I didn't hear anything."

The dirt pile behind the stage, which will likely be landscaped, the convention center across the street and nearby parking garages appear to be swallowing much of the sound from the amphitheater.

The amphitheater's special-use permit also requires that live music stop by 10:30 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Over the years, Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheater worked to mitigate sound to mute complaints from Regency Park neighbors. While many concertgoers love the Booth Amphitheater, some rock fans complain they can't hear concerts there.

"I've never been to a show there where there hasn't been a complaint about the low volume," said Grayson Currin, a music critic who wrote an article for the Independent Weekly newspaper calling out local amphitheaters for their shortcomings.

Currin argued that outdoor venues need to listen to rockers if they want to thrive.

"If they do consistently receive complaints that it is too quiet, which has happened in Cary, they need to invest in a study, invest in science to fix that," he said.


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