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Cary turns up the volume at Koka Booth

The Town Council recently decided to increase the limit on how loud bands can play music at Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

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CARY, N.C. — Cary’s outdoor music venue, Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park could soon be hosting more rock concerts – or at least that’s the hope for town leaders.

For years, the town restricted sound levels at the venue to 92 decibels – a lawn mower registers at about 90 decibels – out of respect for neighbors, but the Town Council recently voted to increase accepted sound levels to 95 decibels.

It’s an effort to attract more big-name acts after major rock bands, like Paramore and Stone Temple Pilots, rejected playing there because of the restrictions and opted to play at Raleigh Amphitheater, which opened this year.

“The greater flexibility for your sound ranges, the easier it is for the acts to accommodate it,” Cary’s cultural arts manager, Lyman Collins said.

The venue has attracted some rock bands, such as Counting Crows this past summer, but some have spoke out against the policy. Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, for example, tweeted on his Twitter account: “Weird decibel level rules at tonite’s [sic] Cary, NC show.”

Collins says people in the audience were even asking for higher sound levels at the concerts.

“The goal is to provide a great experience inside the venue while minimizing effects of the neighborhood,” Lyman said.

The town’s decision is not what some residents living near the facility want to hear.

When Cheap Trick played the theater in May and Counting Crows in July, Bob Carpenter heard it all from his living room, 400 yards from the venue.

“It's very loud. You can actually feel the bass in the house. You can feel movement,” Carpenter said. “We're not satisfied with the way it is, and it looks like it's only going to get worse.”



Renee Chou, Reporter
Greg Hutchinson, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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