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Rifflandia noise within limits: City of Victoria official
Despite a flurry of noise complaints over the weekend, City of Victoria officials say a four-day music festival rocked well within its sound limits.
Rifflandia wrapped up Sunday afternoon in Royal Athletic Park, while outdoor night stages at Phillips Brewery on Government Street, and Market Square, were open Thursday through Saturday.
“We’re figuring it’s upwards of 75 to 80 (noise) complaints … within our own department and through Victoria Police Department,” said Kate Friars, city director of parks, recreation and culture. “It’s not a normal weekend for us, but we feel the operators operated within their decibel (limit).”
Saanich police were “inundated” with noise complaints over the weekend from both Saanich and Oak Bay residents, said Sgt. Steve Eassie. Callers were referred to Victoria’s 24-hour bylaw enforcement line.
“One lady even said her windows were shaking,” Eassie said. “There’s very little we can do from an enforcement standpoint given that these events were taking place outside the jurisdiction.”
Decibel monitoring took place every half hour at Royal Athletic Park, while regular monitoring was completed in Fernwood, Jubilee and North Park where complaints have been reported in past years, Friars said.
“We did have four spikes in the park during the weekend for a short period of time. Those were brought to the attention of the organizer and they brought it down right away,” she said.
Friars said Atomique Productions, which produces Rifflandia, are “a great group of people to work with” and are always respectful of noise concerns.
Bowen Osoko, VicPD spokesman, said officers were busy both at Rifflandia and several outdoor events in Esquimalt, but there were no major incidents to report.
“We had a large presence (at Rifflandia),” Osoko said. “We went early and often and as a result, there were no problems that escalated.”
VicPD didn’t keep track of liquor pour-outs or minor incidents over the weekend, he said.
Parks officials will now turn to restoring the grass at Royal Athletic Park, which was soaked by heavy rains two weeks ago and again on Sunday.
“We’ve had to cancel a couple of football games for this coming weekend,” Friars said. “In the past, (Great Canadian) Beerfest and Rifflandia have gone off without a hitch. We’ll have a better sense once they get everything down from Rifflandia, but certainly we’re looking to try and get the field back up and running, hopefully within a few weeks.”