Asheville’s 24-hour, complaint-based noise ordinance is so confining and open-ended that it is systematically shutting down some of Asheville’s most positive community events. As a local entertainer and DJ, I have seen the options for dance parties and music events reduced considerably over noise considerations.
Call me crazy, but I consider holidays like Independence Day or New Year’s Eve to be special occasions when citizens allow each other to turn their music up and celebrate. This is unfortunately no longer the case. It is now up to your neighbors whether or not New Year’s Eve is a ripe time for your revelry. Perhaps they don’t celebrate New Year’s on Dec. 31, or maybe they don’t like your bumper stickers. All it takes is a phone call, and you’ll have the APD at your door. Are they testing for a certain decibel level? No. Is this a late-night consideration for people who have to wake up early? No, this is a 24-hour ordinance. If the officers can hear you when they pull up—laughing on your back porch or playing music in the middle of the day—you’ll be told to keep it down or be subject to fines.
Now, if you’re playing dance music in a warehouse, you’ll be lectured, asked for identification, intimidated and told that if they get another complaint, they’ll search all of your happy, dancing friends. Happy New Year! Or should I say, “S Novym Godom!”
In countries like Spain, days and even entire weeks are set aside for fantastic holiday celebrations. People toast in the streets. They laugh. They play. They dance. No one would consider shutting down the fun for one person’s phone call. This would only be the cause for more laughter, as it should be.
Most ironic are the noise complaints from the lofty and expensive condos downtown, just above the bars and places of entertainment. You people can’t be serious! You moved downtown, and you expect downtown to cater to your sensitivities? I’ve got two words for you: Try Hendersonville. Your nifty pad hasn’t succeeded in making you cool.
— J. Daley