The proposed PNE amphitheater will be a nightmare for residents: Citizens

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Actions, not excuses, are needed, say residents shaken by the continued noise of the concerts.

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Despite an apology and a promise to work with the neighborhood, the PNE opted to continue working with Timbre, the concert promoter responsible for the Breakout Festival which led to a chaotic riot after headliner Lil Baby canceled a mid-concert appearance on September 18.

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On October 5, another Timbre concert is planned for the PNE Forum with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

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The lack of action is eroding public confidence as the PNE plans a $70 million overhaul of its outdoor amphitheater that will include year-round concerts, said neighborhood resident Gwendolyn Margetson.

“It’s disappointing that they haven’t put their relationship with this developer on hold until they engage the community at the expanded site. The CWP needs to rebuild trust with neighbors and invite us into their decision-making process,” Margetson said.

For months before the Breakout concert weekend, residents said they were dealing with excessive noise from an extended concert season and raised questions about what kind of acts are reserved for outdoor concerts.

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“You expect noise from the PNE, it’s the sound of summer,” Margetson said. “Children scream in the rides and sometimes the music. This is different.”

Margetson, a mother of three, said that at some recent concerts, the sound of lyrics, including the “F” word and the “N” word, were clearly audible from her home.

“You don’t expect that on a school night,” she said.

What the neighborhood needs is consultation that aligns with the city’s stated values ​​of community engagement, Margetson said. “Please involve us. Is this all for profit? »

For Adrienne Gee and Curtis Rowe, the sound levels of an amphitheater that “make it sound like someone is right outside your window with giant speakers” changed their perception of where they live.

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“The neighborhood is very favorable to the PNE. It’s fun,” Rowe said.

Gwendolyn Margetson outside her Burnaby home on September 28, three blocks from the PNE.  Margetson is unhappy with the loud noises of the bands playing in the PNE amphitheater.
Gwendolyn Margetson outside her Burnaby home on September 28, three blocks from the PNE. Margetson is unhappy with the loud noises of the bands playing in the PNE amphitheater. Photo by Mike Bell /Mike Bell/PNG

But the recent gigs are a sea change. It’s not just about putting their six-year-old to bed while the bass blares or trying to calm their terrified Icelandic sheepdog Skeye, it’s about the anticipation for the next gig.

“We’re still checking to see if there’s going to be another gig, wondering if it’s going to be another bad night. We are at their mercy.

Rowe said the city didn’t help.

“I tried to complain to 311 and they say you have to complain to the PNE. It’s a gray area, if the PNE is their own autonomous group, I don’t see where they are accountable to the city or the residents.

This “grey area” of responsibility is what worries residents.

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The PNE operates Hastings Park on behalf of the City of Vancouver and is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by City Council. According to spokeswoman Laura Ballance, the group has been owned by the city since 2004 but operates independently.

The PNE generally receives no government funding and is entirely self-funded through commercial operations such as the PNE Prize Lottery, events and concerts.

In a statement that did not address specifics of recent incidents, the city said the PNE’s community relations department deals directly with all complaints received.

“The city has worked with the PNE to ensure their events comply with noise control regulations. According to Section 11, noise in commercial premises, including the PNE, must not exceed a rating of 70 dBC during the day and 65 dBC at night.

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Com. PNE Board Chair Lisa Dominato said, “I share the concerns of local residents on behalf of the PNE Board,” and apologized for the recent noise from the concert. Dominato said she asked PNE management to look into other events associated with Breakout Festival producers.

For Walter Melnyk, excuses are not enough. Melnyk started a petition asking the PNE board and city council to freeze plans for the new amphitheater and hold meaningful public consultation, submit the PNE to the city’s noise bylaw (it is currently exempt) and request the PNE to conduct an independent noise assessment study.

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  2. Walter Melnyk, a resident of East Vancouver for 30 years, is concerned about noise from performances at the PNE Amphitheater.

    PNE plans for outdoor theater upset neighbors over noise levels

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