Some Westbrook and Portland residents spent their Memorial Day working on the yard or grilling up some food, but some say they’re just enjoying some peace and quiet.
“Last night was just … incredibly loud,” said Kathleen Vance, a Portland resident and business owner.
She said that Sunday’s opening night show, featuring hip hop star Anderson .Paak, at the new Rock Row outdoor concert venue in neighboring Westbrook was so loud she could hear it at her home more than three miles away.
“You could not only hear the music, but you could hear every single word that was being said over the loudspeakers,” she said. “As if I was right there at the concert venue.”
The Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row is part of an ambitious 100-acre project by Waterstone Properties Group that aims to convert an old quarry into a mixed-use development with stores, apartments and entertainment options.
Josh Levy, a co-founder for the Waterstone, told CBS 13 that the concert overall was a success.
“As far as first shows go, I would call this a home run,” said Levy. “It was truly amazing to see 4,000 people come to Westbrook for a concert.”
He says that the concert venue did receive some noise complaint calls, but says the problem is being addressed as the summer concert series continues.
“We have four sound monitors throughout Portland and Westbrook to gather data on the noise levels leaving the stadium,” he said. “We have sound engineers piecing that information together over the next three weeks, including today, to figure out any fine tuning we need to do.”
Some Westbrook residents say that they didn’t mind the amount of noise leaving the stadium.
“I heard the bass, and we expected too,” said Stephen Barton, a Westbrook resident who lives half a mile from the stadium. “We were all prepared for it.”
The Westbrook Police Department’s Facebook Page was covered with comments of people complaining about the noise. The department responded by writing: “We have no authority over the noise emitted from the concert venue. Again, as stated in other places, please direct noise complaints to the compliance officer.”
Levy said the compliance officer is a staff member for Rock Row that will field calls for any problems happening during an event.
Vance said that some of her friends who called the compliance officer phone number didn’t get a response, and couldn’t leave a message because the inbox was full.
“I was able to get ahold of that person but all they did was register my complaint and take my name,” she said.
Vance said that her goal of calling the compliance officer isn’t to shut down the concert, but to have her problems addressed.
“I’m not saying they can’t hold concerts there, not asking that, I am just asking them to control the noise level,” she said.
Levy said that Rock Row officials will be glad to field any questions or comments at their monthly meetings with the community. He said those meetings will take place the second Monday of every month. The next scheduled meeting is June 10.
Barton said he is grateful for the work the property group is doing, and said the meetings are helpful.
“I think it’s a work in progress. They’re willing to work with the community and I think that’s great. It’s a positive thing for Westbrook,” he said.
Levy said that the majority of the responses Waterstone Properties has received is positive. He said that he looks forward to the next concert on June 15.
“We had zero arrests and zero people kicked out of the venue,” he said. “We feel like it was a successful day, and we’re grateful for all the staff, law enforcement, and performers who made it that way.”
He said that Rock Row is still being completed while the summer concert series continues.
Anyone who wants to reach out to the compliance officer is asked to call 207-558-6007.