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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.

15 comments

Tom Applegate June 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm

It would be a shame to run the Jazz Concert out of town because a handful of vocal residents complain – if we try, am sure there is a compromise here . . .

Doug Taylor June 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

Unfortunately it was far more than a handful of people who were bombarded by the noise of this concert and were compelled to protest to the city and the resort. We live near La Costa Ave & Rancho Santa Fe Rd, but even at that distance the noise was absolutely intolerable — thumping and pounding beats that you feel as much as you hear — we endured 20 hours of this invasive, booming noise over a three day period. Our entire neighborhood was “up in arms” — we all called the city and the resort. I can only suppose that every other neighborhood within the huge noise footprint did the same. If the resort chooses to host this event again or a similar one, we will vigorously protest to the city and the resort and picket the event. We’ve lived here for 16 years and have always been supportive of the resort — we wish them success in hosting golf and tennis tournaments and similar events, but hosting outdoor concerts is just not appropriate in this heavily populated valley.

PMH June 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm

We are situated directly above/across from the golf course stage area for the event and agree completely with your comments! Many in our community complained to the Omni, Carlsbad PD, and Carlsbad Recreation department. We are prepared to support anyone who brings the initiative to a public forum, and I personally would volunteer to assist in those efforts. Omni’s actions are with complete disregard for its “neighbors” and if left unchecked, will certainly continue to escalate with this and every event like it. This is an established residential neighborhood, and its citizens deserve and have earned the privilege of peaceful living in their homes.

lynda July 6, 2015 at 6:54 am

Count me in on any effort to get Omni La Costa Resort and Spa to turn down the volume! I live in La Costa Village. Now the resort is showing movies poolside on Friday nights & it sounds as if they are playing in my bedroom. lhalttunen@palomar.edu
I have been in communication with Doug Yavanian, La Costa Resort Community Relations(760)929-6361 dyavanian@lacostaresortre.com (with little relief.)

Kat June 27, 2015 at 2:15 pm

We are a 3 mile drive from Omni Resort, and we thought the noise was coming from 4 houses down – not 3 miles! We contacted Carlsbad police about our “inconsiderate neighbors” and found that they’d received several complaints about the noise but they’re hands were tied. They suggested contact the resort; and some of our neighbors did but only one actually got to talk to a real live person. I feel for the people who live in closer proximity to the resort; especially those who work night shifts and sleep during the day, and those with young children. This is a three day event and a huge imposition for those affected by it. Hosting the Jazz festival in Carlsbad is a great idea; but the execution needs a lot of work to make it a success for residents and musicians.

Matt June 26, 2015 at 7:37 pm

If Carlsbadians are this bothered by a jazz concert, imagine how much more bothered they should be by an enormous shopping center at I-5 and Cannon Road that will turn I-5 through Carlsbad into permanent gridlock.

RONPAS June 27, 2015 at 6:53 am

Carlsbad needs a noise ordinance – with the barking dogs, concerts, and Carlsbad High School Stadium noise, the residents are asked to bare the burden of irresponsible neighbors. What happened to our right to a peaceful environment? Instead, you have to get three neighbors to complain about the noise and still nothing happens. The city reiterates that is DOESNT HAVE A NOISE ORDINANCE. Well, why not get one?

JIM June 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm

The noise from that event was very, very bad.Thumping bass, everything amplified to Spinal Tap’s eleven setting. Terrible 3 days, they should hold that kind of thing out in the desert somewhere, similar to the Coachella music festival. If the resort chooses to hold it again next year they’ll meet a lot of resistance from their here-to-fore friendly neighbors. Maybe hold it in Death Valley in 2016, I’ll help you set the tents up. As a side note–to call the type of music being played over the three endless days & nights “jazz” is definitely a stretch, more like caterwauling pop music.

Aaron Burgin June 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

I guess having some of the most established R&B artists in the world offends the senses of some. I wonder if it was a 50s rock concert if the neighbors would be clamoring for a noise ordinance.

Steve June 28, 2015 at 6:31 am

We are within walking distance of the resort and, in fact, walked down to the resort to hear the music. What a great event and a great opportunity to introduce the kids to different musical styles.

Jay June 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

Jealous…We only have the Pendleton Artillery to shake our walls and scare our pets in 92008.

Julie Lowen June 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

If it is too loud,.. You are too old., amazing artists and wonderful event!

Doug Taylor June 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

Our experience was similar to Tim Clark’s who was quoted in the article as saying that the music wasn’t audible, “it was just noise.” So it’s not that we don’t appreciate renowned jazz artists (we really do), it’s just that we weren’t hearing anything resembling their music. Instead, we just heard a relentless pounding noise because only the bass traveled freely up the valley while the melody was dimmed and distorted. The thumping penetrated windows and walls for 20 hours over a three-day period. I am a jazz fan myself, but I couldn’t make out any jazz, just boom, boom, boom. Also, I believe that your comment about age is not relevant and doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of jazz which embraces fans and artists of all ages.

Carlton Nelsoni June 29, 2015 at 6:32 am

I don’t see any complaints about the tax revenue that this generates for the city. It’s difficult to live in paradise and not be able to pay for it. These types of events benefit the entire city by filling hotels, restaurants and other tax generating revenue businesses. The event is highly publicized so plan your weekend around it. 3 days of music is a small price to pay for the money it brings to the entire region. Instead of trying to stop the event, look at ways to help mitigate the noise with the resort and event promoters.

Al castaneda June 29, 2015 at 7:24 am

Let them have their fun! Your in San Diego California, enjoy the entertainment or move. You made the choice to live here. After all it is only temporary and the resort puts on a wonderful fireworks display.

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