‘Pounding a hammer in your head:’ Electric Daisy Carnival gives neighbors an earful
BY TINA SFONDELES AND BOB OKON Sun-Times Media May 25, 2013 10:12PM
Updated: June 27, 2013 7:17AM
Organizers behind the Electric Daisy Carnival said they’ll turn down the volume and set a curfew for firework displays in response to “unexpected noise complaints” from residents neighboring the Chicagoland Speedway and from suburbs as far away as Mokena.
Jennifer Forkish, an Insomniac Productions spokeswoman, released a statement on Saturday, vowing to make changes and be a “good neighbor” for the remainder of the three-day electronic dance festival.
Friday’s premiere became a headache for some nearby residents, who said they had to deal with all-night throbbing beats and loud firework displays, some as late as 4 a.m.
“Late last night when we first learned about the noise complaints, we immediately lowered the sound at all of our stages by 33 percent,” Forkish said in the statement. “Tonight [Saturday] we are moving the fireworks show 3 hours earlier to help reduce late night noise.”
“We apologize for any disturbance the festival may have caused,” the statement continued. “It is never our intent to upset residents as we take being a good neighbor very seriously.”
Joliet Mayor Thomas Giarrante said Saturday morning that he had received complaints from “a few people” in neighboring Elwood and New Lenox and as far away as Frankfort and Mokena.
“It sounds like some legitimate complaints,” Giarrante said. “I’m just surprised I didn’t get calls from Joliet about it. They’re all from out of town.”
Diane Sharp said her ears were ringing well into Saturday morning. The Joliet Township woman described the noise like someone “pounding a hammer in your head.”
“It drove you crazy,” Sharp said.
“I’m hoping that this will never happen again -- that there will be enough complaints that they won’t bring it back here,” Sharp said. “How about a reasonable hour? Midnight is fine. Come on? 4 a.m.? ”
Jane Kozak, of New Lenox, said she heard “thumping, the bass, the beat, the vibration” at her home seven miles away from Chicagoland Speedway.
“Oh my Lord, I’m telling you if I had known I would have left this weekend,” Kozak said. “I’m all for them playing music there, but it should end at 12. I think that’s a good time to stop.”
On Friday, the fireworks began sporadically during David Guetta’s set about midnight. But nearby residents said they heard fireworks much later.
Joyce Marino, who lives in Joliet Township about a mile from the racetrack said the noise was constant: “Boom, boom, boom, loudly,” and the fireworks “sounded like atomic bombs going off.”
She called Electric Daisy Carnival “the worst thing the Speedway has ever done to us.”
This is Electric Daisy’s first stint in the Chicago area. And both Chicagoland Speedway and Joliet officials have said they hope to make the festival an annual event.
Besides the noise, Joliet police reported two arrests for possession of controlled substance — for methamphetamine and ecstasy. Police also issued five tickets for battery, underage drinking and trespassing.