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Blues festival flap headed to Bloomington City Council

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 17:25:57 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Bloomington City Council members are starting to get an earful on a dispute over a proposed blues music festival at GE Park in late July. Charles Witte is the head of the Spring Ridge Neighborhood Association, who says last year's Nothin But the Blues Fest disturbed the more than 200 mainly elderly residents of the subdivision.

"The stage was probably within fifty to seventy five yards of many of the homes. It was just intolerable to be frank."

Witte says a decibel meter showed readings of 85 to 90 on his and neighboring patios and he says that's high enough to damage hearing. Witte says residents want a different stage configuration, lower volume on the sound, and for the playing to stop at 10:30 instead of 11:30 at night. Festival organizer Deb Mehlberg says it's too late to change some of that.

"The contracts I have set down have artists coming in at a certain time and playing from this time to this time."

Mehlberg says it would have been nice to hear from the homeowners association before arrangements were finalized. Some complaints, though, were lodged last year. The liquor commission has recommended approval of a license for the event. The City Council takes up the issue July 9th. Disclosure: WGLT has had a financial relationship with this blues festival in the past, but has no such interest this year.

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