by Chris Haire
Patriots Point doesn't like techo, EDM, that damn bass-thumping, window-shaking noise ... or whatever else you want to call it. The point is Mt. P's tourist heart won't be hosting any electro-dance parties anytime soon. And by that we mean never, ever, ever. The reason: the block-rocking beats at last night's Harbor City Fest were, apparently, rocking the block, and some folks just didn't like it.
In a statement released this morn, Patriots Point executive director Mac Burdette says, "We received numerous complaints about the noise level of the music. While we are always willing to consider new and unique events as a museum and tourist attraction, we are always committed to doing the right thing.
The early evening rave featured such leading EDM acts as Alesso, Kap Slap, DJ EV, Styles & Complete, Ben G, Freaky Franz, and CJ the DJ.
"Concerts like the one held last night are lucrative for us. However, the revenue generated is not worth our risking the friendship and support we have worked so hard to earn from our neighbors," Burdette says. "Therefore, Patriots Point will not allow this type of 'manufactured' music concert in the future. That is a promise.”
"Manufactured" music, eh. Well, that means that all of the cover bands, jam-bands, and white-boy reggae acts that dominates this year's Party at the Point lineup won't be affected. Whew. Of course, there's one big difference between bands like Dangermuffin, Stoplight Observations, and Ben Fagen & the Holy City Holligans: the bass.
Ashley Smith, Patriots Point public information officer, explains, "I think for us, the challenge as far as 'manufactured music' versus other types has to do with the bass. It is essential to electronic dance music, and promoters are reluctant to put in the contract limitations on decibel levels, bass, etc. Given our close proximity to neighborhoods, it is very, very difficult to control when it comes to meeting community expectations."
Smith adds, "Events such as the Harbor Music Fest are not part of our base revenue stream, but the public’s support of our operation is critical to our future success. We cannot sacrifice our base for these events that are very difficult to control. With all due respect for this genre of music, our venue is just not the place for it."
Requests for comments from one of Harbor Fest's promoters, Brightsound president Beau Burns, were not returned at press time.
We spoke to one Harbor City Fest attendee, Rachel Fowler, and she said the show ended on time — around 11 p.m. — and wasn't any louder than Patriot Point's 2011 EMD show featuring Bassnectar. "I also know of several other similar acts that have played there, so I wonder if this is the first time there have been complaints and why it is now they are deciding to no longer host them," Fowler says.
However, she says at least one act may have been louder than the rest, but for a rather mundane reason. "Alesso was pretty loud, but I just figured that was because we were closer to the front for his set," she says.