Festival campers disrupt farmers

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Radio New Zealand

Manawatu, Saturday, January 28, 2017

A farmer in Rangitikei says a music festival is keeping her and her neighbours awake at night with its relentless bass music.

Pauline Blaikie, who runs The Willows Organic Farm, says the noise from the Kiwiburn festival was still going, booming up the river valley, at 830 am on Friday.

“People that live 8 or 10 kilometres away have been talking among themselves, saying, ‘Oh, did you hear it last night?’”

“Out there now, it’s that thumping noise that we’re hearing already,” she said on Friday evening, and used a phone app that she said showed the sound level was hitting 45-65 decibels.

The dispute

She said the Kiwiburn festival had done nothing about her and other neighbours’ complaints.

But a festival operations manager Fletcher Handscomb said they told some festivalgoers on Thursday to turn down the volume and moved some of the sound systems.

It was a tricky situation as campers brought their own individual sound systems, and there were 1500 camped out, he said.

“We’ve been made aware of the sound complaints that are going on and we really feel for her.”

He was aware of two noise complaints.

Mr Handscomb said that the sound levels at the outside perimeter were being monitored via sensors that provided online readouts, to meet the terms of their consent from the Rangitikei District Council.

“I am aware that we are operating within it. It is cross-checked with the council,” he said. “We want to work with everyone as good neighbours.”

But Ms Blaikie said that in the previous three years the music had been disruptive, but they had not felt the need to complain about it. However, the music was louder this year, she said.

The five-day festival near Vinegar Hill runs until Monday.

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