Campground Owner Claims “I Was Naive” About Music Fest Noise
About 100 people complained to the Clallam County sheriff’s office about noise emanating from a 36-hour music festival at the KOA Campground on O’Brien Road east of Port Angeles, Wash.
By Sunday morning (June 17), the thumping bass from “DJ Jungle Fever” had faded away, and there were few physical traces that a crowd of hundreds had been partying there, the Peninsula Daily reported.
But animosity from the Friday-through-Sunday event that rattled windows and nerves of nearby property owners remained.
Deputies, however, said they did all they could within the confines of the law, which does not include a noise ordinance for commercial sound systems.
“We put a presence into the KOA campground as much as possible,” Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said Sunday.
Deputies asked the entertainers to keep the volume down, he said, but to little avail.
“When we left, it would start creeping back up again,” he said of the volume.
Peregrin said that since the crowd was less than 1,000 people, the festival did not require a permit.
“It gave the county government very little leverage to deal with them.”
Peregrin said that if the sheriff’s office had simply shut down the festival, the county could have been sued by the promoters for lost revenue.
That left them no other option than to just talk with affected residents.
“Once I explained to them what we had to work with, they were pretty understanding,” he said.
Peregrin said the event was otherwise peaceful, with no medical calls, no arrests and only one theft reported.
Event organizer, who gave his name as “Capt. Kimball,” said he measured the sound level at the campground and found it to be as low as 12 decibels.
“Friday night, we were ordered to turn it down by the owners because there were too many complaints,” he said, adding that he complied immediately but was then asked to turn the volume down even more.
“When we turned it down the second time, my Friday night headliners left,” he said.
Kimball said he followed all the rules and was “sad” that people were upset at his legal business venture.
Peregrin said the KOA management did not plan on hosting similar events.
“It was not a pleasant experience for them,” Peregrin said.
KOA co-owner Rochelle FitzGerald expressed regret for the noise inflicted on her neighbors.
“I was naive,” she said.