Neighbors say Celebrate Brooklyn concerts are too loud

Neighbors say Celebrate Brooklyn concerts are too loud
Windsor Terrace residents say Prospect Park's popular Celebrate Brooklyn concert series — which brings acts like Jimmy Cliff to the green space — is simply too noisy.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Bass-heavy beats from Prospect Park’s popular Celebrate Brooklyn concert series are shaking homes and rattling windows in Windsor Terrace, say angry neighbors who claim the free tunes aren’t music to their ears.

Residents at 1 Prospect Park Southwest — which is roughly five blocks from the outdoor concert site — claim performers are using more speakers than in past years and creating an irksome din until almost midnight.

“We’re getting blasted with sound; it’s insane,” said neighbor Tom Prendergast.

Prendergast claims residents inside his building at Bartel-Pritchard Square measured noise coming from last week’s Jimmy Cliff concert at 97 decibels, which is about as loud as a motorcycle or a lawn mower.

Neighbors say they wish performers and concert organizers would lower the volume to “a reasonable level” of about 65 decibels, which is comparable to the sound of two people talking.

“It just doesn’t need to be that loud,” said neighbor Michael Longo, who lives six blocks away and claims he can listen to the shows without leaving his home. “You can hear it half a mile away.”

The Parks Department’s popular concert series — which this summer features performances by bands such as Hot Chip, Wilco, and Mission of Burma — has for years attracted thousands of picnic basket-hauling concert-goers to the park’s bandshell and the grassy areas around it.

But neighbors say the performances this year feature roughly 30 large speakers — four more than last year — and claim that the music lasts much longer into the night.

Paul Nelson, a spokesman for the Prospect Park Alliance, said the agency is working to resolve the issue.

“I was told there were some steps we are taking to address their complaints,” Nelson said.

The spokesman did not provide details by press time on Thursday.

Prendergast say the solution to the noise problem is as simple as it gets: just turn the volume down a notch.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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