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SW suburban leaders happy after volume turned down at electronic music fest

Updated: May 27, 2013 6:27PM

A little bit softer now! A little bit softer now! Suburban elected leaders said organizers of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Joliet over the weekend made substantial efforts to cut down the noise after a slew of complaints came in during the first night electronic dance event.

Joliet City Manager Tom Thanas said many residents and their mayors contacted him and the police department about noise Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway, where the three-day event premiered. Insomniac Productions was “very responsive and willing to work with us on the matter,” he said.

“I know Friday was the perfect storm — a still night with low humidity (and) the noise could be heard for several miles,” Thanas said, of the opening night of the event.

New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann was among those who’d called Thanas to address the problem after he got calls from disturbed residents, the Joliet Herald-News reported.

“I’m very happy with (Joliet’s) efforts, Saturday night was much better. The level of complaints was not even close,” Baldermann said. The carnival ended Sunday.

Baldermann said he personally heard “some noise as the night went on,” but Cindy Michalowicz, who lives 10 miles away in Lockport said the constant bass thumping made her feel as if someone was having an unwanted “party in (her) back yard until 4 a.m.”

“What you consider as a successful revenue generating event was at the expense of the other tens of thousands of residents in the surrounding communities,” Michalowicz wrote in an email to Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante.

Elwood resident Sue Bettenhausen said Friday night’s noise was terrible, but said she wasn’t disturbed once after the 10 p.m. fireworks show.

“I didn’t hear anything. I’m satisfied with what they did to take care of the noise. Last night was fine,” she said.

Saturday morning’s complaints led Thanas to attend the event that night. “It was loud when I was standing at the front of the stage, but the complaints from residents were greatly reduced and (Insomniac’s) response to the problem means they will be welcomed back if there are no issues Sunday night,” he said.

Thanas called his first rave-type event a “great spectacle,” but said most attendees were well-behaved. “I like to dance. I’ve been to clubs, but this was the first time I’d been 25 or 30 years older than the rest of the crowd,” said Thanas, who decided to leave when the body-surfing started near the front of the stage.

According to reports, three festivalgoers have been jailed on drug charges.

Cmdr. Al Roechner said police issued two citations for underage drinking Saturday, but there were no other incidents at the festival.

The Joliet Fire Department reported some minor medical issues had been addressed by paramedics, but no one had been taken to the hospital.

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