Welcome to Rockville takes over Metro Park

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - One of the biggest concert weekends of the year in Jacksonville kicks off Saturday, and again this year, people living in the Empire Point and St. Nicholas areas are worried about noise levels from the Welcome to Rockville concert.

This year, organizers and the city struck a deal somewhere in the middle of what everyone wanted the allowable noise to be, and everyone thinks no issues will come up.

At last year's event, concert organizers turned the speakers away from the St. Johns River to try to keep the noise levels to a minimum on the opposite side of the river, where people have complained about the noise in previous festivals. Organizers are doing the same thing with the speakers this year to make sure noise levels are followed.

"We have world class sound engineers on site who are monitoring the sound," Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents said. "We have taken all of the precautions that we can take to minimize it. I will be shocked if we exceed it."

Danny Hayes says that the event is already sold out for Sunday and nearly sold out for today. He and the other event organizers have been to the meetings and heard the complaints from neighbors about the noise, but think this year's agreement will make an impact.

"We are doing everything we can with technology to minimize the noise, but there is always going to be some noise bleed and complaints," Hayes said.

"We hope the people across the river can tolerate a little bit of noise, but we are trying to minimize it."

"I don't think anyone is going to deliberately crank the volume up to 11," City Councilman Bill Bishop said. "I don't see that happening, because that is not in anyone's interest to do that. Will it spike here and there, it could very well."

Bishop says that he knows there are concerns anytime there are music festivals at Metro Park, especially since when the park was built, that's not what it was designed for. Bishop and others are hopeful that the event will stay here in Jacksonville for a long time.

"They are fantastic for the city. We want these events here. We don't want them to go somewhere else. I feel like we could have a lot more of these events like this if we had a venue that was designed for it." Bishop said.

"We think this park represents the city of Jacksonville. The river, it's just a beautiful place to hold events and showcase the city. We plan to be here a long time," said Hayes.

Korn, Rob Zombie, Avenged Sevenfold, and A Day to Remember are headlining this year's two-day festival.

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