Carlsbad residents raise voices over loud Jazz Festival

CARLSBAD — The San Diego Jazz Festival was held for the third year in a row at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

The three-day festival brought in thousands of fans to see famous jazz musicians including R. Kelly, Toni Braxton, Erykah Badu and Anthony Hamilton over the Memorial Day weekend.

During the concert series, however, nearby residents called into the city and the resort to complain about noise, which hadn’t been an issue the previous two years according to Parks and Recreation Department Director Chris Hazeltine.

Yet the resort didn’t violate any noise ordinances because the city doesn’t have any.

“There is no city noise ordinance on the books, that’s been discussed by the council over the years,” said Hazeltine.

The concert was put on by Arizona-based BTW Concerts, which does similar concert festivals in Cancun, Las Vegas and Arizona.

According to a staff member at BTW Concerts, the festival has a curfew of 10 p.m.

The final act on Sunday, Erykah Badu was cut-off mid song a little after 10 p.m., to ensure the company kept to its curfew.

Kathy Paulic, a nearby resident said the 10 p.m. curfew is too late for families with small children that need to be in bed by 8 p.m.

“In the last few years, there’s been a lot of noise. It really hit the tipping point over the jazz festival,” Paulic said.

She expressed her frustration earlier this month at the city’s lack of noise ordinance because it doesn’t give residents any options for recourse.

A handful of fans in attendance were also disappointed with the curfew because it forced Badu off the stage early on Sunday night.

Hazeltine said the resort doesn’t plan on hosting a similar event.

“They recognize that the event wasn’t a good fit and they are not pursuing that event in the future so that will not happen again at the resort,” Hazeltine said.

Representatives from the resort did not confirm nor deny whether it would host the annual Jazz Festival again.

The resort didn’t break any rules within the city.

They complied with fire codes, traffic control plans and the stage was built to standard, said Hazeltine.

Hazeltine said the city has never received so many complaints about Omni La Costa Resort.

“That type of event did have impacts on the neighborhood,” Hazeltine said.

Nearby resident Tim Clark said this was the worst year he’s heard the Jazz fest.

“It blew us away it was so loud. We couldn’t hear our TV and things were vibrating in our house,” Clark said.

He said the music wasn’t audible, which he said, could have been pleasant.

“It was just noise,” Clark said. “After a while, it grates on you.”

Representatives from BTW Concerts weren’t available for comment by press time but Hazeltine said he was told the sound system was set up differently than in years past.

It wasn’t shielded as well, leading to echoing throughout the nearby canyon and causing complaints.

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