Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 16, 2013

City talks trash, noise with Film Festival

TRAVERSE CITY — City commissioners will leave concerns about noise, trash, and the Clinch Park grass to its staff to work out with the Traverse City Film Festival

The city commission approved the working agreement with the Film Festival on Monday and will rely on staff to protect the new grass at Clinch Park and keep trash cans from overflowing. Deb Lake, Film Festival executive director, deadened any noise concerns by meeting with residents of the Central Neighborhood Association about movie sound when they angle the screen for their popular Open Space movies back towards downtown

She came to the Central Neighborhood, made a presentation and answered everyone’s questions,” said city Commissioner Jim Carruthers, who lives in the Central Neighborhood. “I know it’s annoying for some, but it’s part of the aura of these festivals.”

City Commissioner Jeanine Easterday lives downtown and said she found a decibel level application for her smartphone that she used to monitor concerts and other events for the National Cherry Festival. Most of the time the decibel level was in compliance with the city’s noise ordinance, but both the midway and the fashion show had some loud spikes above acceptable noise levels.

Easterday doesn’t expect anything quite that loud from the Film Festival.

“I think they’ve made a good faith effort to dampen (the sound), but I have my decibel app and I’ll be down there now,” Easterday said. “So I’ll have data.”

Noise complaints from residents in the Central Neighborhood had forced Film Festival officials to move the towering Open Space movie screen so it faced east instead of towards downtown and the Central Neighborhood.

The festival has invested in a new sound system with speakers located high off the ground and pointed down into the crowds, Lake said. The angle should keep the sound more localized, allowing them to return the screen to its original location where the viewing is better for the audience.

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