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New documents shine a light on complaints against West Fargo Concert Venue

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 8:07 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -West Fargo Citizens continue to adjust to their newest concert venue, the Lights on Sheyenne. New files obtained by Valley News Live continue to show mounting frustrations between the people of West Fargo and the Event Center. As Devin Fry reports, volume continues to be a sore subject.

Pages worth of written complaints and more than two and a half minutes of voicemails show the frustrations some citizens have with “The Lights”. The majority of the complaints have to do with the amount of noise that comes from concerts being held there.

One of the voicemail messages to the city said “I’m half a mile away and I can hear this far too well. It’s ridiculous, I imagine this has to break the decibel level allowed by the city. I would just like to know what my options are.”

When we looked through these documents, many mentioned city ordinances so we went ahead and looked those up. According to ordinance 15-14, there is a maximum level of decibels allowed in certain areas. Residential areas cap at 55 decibels and commercial areas are at 65. In the records provided by the city of West Fargo, it is revealed that the city did measure the Decibel levels from a concert at the lights, where they say the music peaked at 100 Decibels, well above the allowed level. It’s important to note that you can go above that maximum level, but only after obtaining a permit from the city government.

Another voicemail message was left about the noise complaints, saying that “They are very loud and I can hear them in my house from about a mile away. I don’t know if it’s going to continue or if this is something that’s being discussed, so I just wanted to talk to somebody about it.”

Not all of the messages involving the Lights were complaints. Some praised the venue for allowing the Hairball concert to take place back on August 1st. However, some are still concerned about holding events of this size during a Pandemic.

“I’m absolutely appalled that the city is allowing the concert to take place at the lights.” One concerned citizen said in a voicemail, “There were 50 people at a funeral in Lake Park a couple weeks ago and 30 people got COVID, yet we’re going to allow thousands of people to crowd into the lights again. It’s almost like we’re saying we don’t care if people die. Absolutely insane.”

There is another large event set to take place this weekend, Liquid Ice will be hosting a Glow party at Bar Down, with over 100 people interested in the event on Facebook. No guidelines have been posted online for that event.

We attempted to reach out to Bar Down to ask them about tomorrow’s event but did not get a response. The city of West Fargo also refused to comment on the party.

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