Rock concert comes ahead of noise ordinance deadline

Some residents across river from Metropolitan Park say noise is disruptive


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The deadline for one of City Council's noise ordinance agreements is less than one week away.

Council members chose to waive noise regulations at Metropolitan Park until this coming Tuesday, making it possible for a very loud and booming concert to take place.

The Welcome to Rockville festival begins Saturday, and already there are early preparations for the event.

It was the target of the noisy showdown for months, and now that's it's just around the corner, Channel 4 revisited the people who live nearby.

Noise is just part of the concern for people who live on the south side of the St. Johns River near Bishop Kenny High School. A couple of the other concerns are the vulgar language that they say they can hear all day with this event, and the bass, which they say is enough to rattle their windows.

"If this weekend is like the ones in the past, it will be very disruptive, very unsettling, just like the rest of them have been," resident Pat Heekin said.

Heekin lives just across the river from Metropolitan Park and knows that with the Welcome to Rockville show going on all weekend, the music will be very clear from his house both days.

"It's a violation of our rights on the south side of the river to have some peace and quiet," Heekin said.

He has followed the City Council meetings about the noise ordinance closely, although he is not happy that it decided to put off imposing penalties until the end of this month. While many people who live across the river from the venue agree, not all of them do.

"We hear the music and we welcome it," resident Sandra Musser said. "It's better than hearing a lot of traffic going up and down Atlantic Boulevard and the racing motorcycles."

The music at this year's two-day festival will begin before noon both days, and the last band each day is scheduled to take the stage after 8:30 p.m. Promoters for the event say that the noise levels will be within the levels that are required of them.

"I'm very happy to be here," Musser said. "In the daytime, we have concerts and you are outside in the yard and you can rock along to the music."

St. Nicholas residents said that while the concert is going on Saturday and Sunday, there will be people in the area monitoring the noise levels across the river, trying to see just how loud it gets.