As the sun sets over Memorial Stadium, two dozen carnies are wrapping up a day-long set strike. On the muddy, ripped up fields at Oak & Kirby, a massive aluminum erector set folds neatly into 18-wheeler sized pieces.
Last Thursday, this huge piece of temporary architecture hosted the most impressive noise nuisance in the history of Champaign-Urbana. Here's what it looked like up close.
Those giant speakers point due east. The sound traveled well. Did anyone complain? Urbana Assistant Chief of Police Anthony Cobb:
Yes we received multiple calls last night from the Pink Concert. METCAD also received calls and the music could be heard at Rainbow Apartments and Stone Creek subdivision. METCAD, as well as UPD, referred callers to UIPD to register their complaints so they would know the impact of the concert.*
I called the Urbana Police Department's non-emergency number at 8:30 p.m., and asked simply "What can you tell me about this concert?" The operator obviously knew what I meant.
It supports breast cancer awareness, it's sponsored by Victoria's Secret, it's licensed by the University, it runs until 9 o'clock and there's nothing the Urbana Police Department can do about it.
In fact, it overran its permit. But oh well. By 9 o'clock, parents of small children had already thrown in the towel on bedtime. The eastward orientation of the stage may have saved residents of Champaign the annoyance. Champaign Chief of Police RT Finney put it this way:
I show that CPD responded to one loud music call connected to the concert. However, that may not accurately reflect the actual number of calls that were received. It only reflects an agency record that an officer was dispatched. For example, a car accident may generate numerous calls, but there may only be one record generated of the accident.... In our case, the call came in about music coming from a vehicle located in the parking lot of the Rainbow Garden at Neil and Buena Vista. When the officer arrived she found that the music was from the concert not the vehicle. There may have been other similar calls like this on campus as well.
But within the radius of the speakers, the show was clearly audible for miles, literally. Here's what it sounded like at our place.
*UIPD Chief Barbara O'Connor did not respond to inquiries. University spokesperson Robin Kaler made no official response, but acknowledged receiving two calls at home about the noise.