Earlier this month I met with the team at the Chicago Park District responsible for permitting special events held in Chicago’s parks. The purpose of the meeting was to convey to the them the issues that many residents, particularly those who live in University Commons, University Village, and University Lofts, had this spring, and summer with noise levels from events hosted at Addams Park.
The noise from Hip-Hop SummerFest in early September was particularly loud so I used a professionally calibrated sound meter to measure the sound levels from a distance of one mile north east of the event up to the event site at Loomis and 14th Streets, and three points in between. The sound levels ranged from 65 db a mile from the concert to 82 db at the source. I also briefly spoke to one of the event organizers to let them know what I was doing, and why. I noticed that the speaker columns, and music stage were facing east so that the sound is directed at thousands of units of residential housing.
I suggested to the Park District that in the future the event organizers set up their music stages, and speaker columns facing west, and that they also be encouraged to direct the speaker columns toward the audience, and away from residences as much as possible. The Park District was very understanding of the concerns of our community, and the people I met with committed to working with the event organizers to minimize the impact that events at Addams Park have on the surrounding community. They also agreed to encourage the event organizers to orient the music stages, and speaker columns to the west. We agreed to reconnect early next spring to review the events, and their set ups so I’ll have more information for our community then.