Despite Sound Regulations, Red Rocks Amphitheater Loves EDM
Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been a hot topic as of late, primarily due to new 2015 sound restrictions that cap the allowed sound pressure level shows are allowed to reach. This has left many fans worried that their favorite venue will no longer play their favorite music. Brian Kitts, Denver Arts and Venues Marketing and Communication Director, wants everyone to know that Red Rocks loves EDM, and the music isn’t leaving the stage any time soon. He sat down for an interview with Denver Westword that should ease concertgoers’ minds. Check out the highlights below!
DW: Why did these regulations get put in place?
Kitts: The easy answer is these were prompted by complains of residents that live nearby, and when you start looking at number of complaints and the people getting involved, which include the town of Morrison and the county commission, we realized that is makes sense to look at some of these restrictions.
The interesting thing about Red Rocks is that it's a living, breathing venue. It opened 74 years ago, and a lot of things have changed in that time. With the advent of EDM, with the advent of some of the pyro stuff that happens on stage...every once in a while you need to make some changes.
DW: How might these changes affect the concert season for fans and nearby residents?
Kitts: I think we have been respectful of their desire for changes that might affect their enjoyment of where they live. Those are, specifically, the stop times and the noise levels. We've moved them up a little bit. But I don't think concertgoers are going to notice them at all. This isn't like Fiddler's Green, where there is a strict curfew in place: One minute past the witching hour, we pull the plug. It's not like that. I hope residents will notice and appreciate the changes we have made.
That being said, they moved into neighborhoods next to an amphitheater that has been around for 74 years, and it is a music venue, and music is occasionally loud, and the show must go on. We also recognize there are certain styles of music that tend to be louder, and we are there every night. The best thing we can do for promoters and musicians themselves is to work with the consultants to reach some consistencies throughout the shows. I think the audience isn't going to really notice these changes.
DW: What feedback have you gotten on these regulations from promoters and artists?
Kitts: This will be the heaviest season for EDM music that Red Rocks has ever had. So clearly, the regulations aren't restricting them, they believe they can put on an effective show. There is a misconception that EDM is under attack and the sound levels are going to be fifty percent of what they were last year, and that's just not the case. What you're doing is shaving off certain high points of the show, to the point that you aren't going to notice. We're not saying, "The volume gets turned down by 75 percent." There are certain peaks that are going to be affected, but I don't think the normal EDM fan is going to notice.
DW: Do you support the EDM community?
Kitts: Oh hell yeah! As fans ourselves, we understand the value of the community. The history of Red Rocks is also the history of pop music in America. And right now, EDM is America's music. We value it from an audience standpoint and, frankly, it makes us money. So, we don't want to do anything that would interfere with that business or genre, and it was never about the genre. It was about, "How do we reach a compromise so that in certain parts of the show, you have less interference with what happens in a neighbor's house?"
Click here for the full interview!