U2 fined €36k for too-loud Croker gigs -- (NEW)

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By Cormac Murphy


Thursday November 12 2009

Some might say U2 have been creating noise pollution for years.

And now the Dublin supergroup have been fined €36,000 after they breached noise levels during their Croke Park concerts in July.

Dublin City Council has issued penalties against music promoters MCD after Bono and his bandmates exceeded the allowed limits on a number of occasions during the gigs.

The council said, apart from the noise breaches, all other conditions attached to the Public Event Licence allowing the concerts to go ahead were complied with in full.

Surety

A condition of the licence was that a cash deposit of €80,000 be lodged as a surety for maintaining noise limits.

A spokesman for the council told the Herald the band were responsible for 12 breaches over the three nights of the concerts, with a €3,000 penalty applying each time.

The fines were by no means the first to be issued by the council after high-profile performers exceeded noise levels.

Last year, two of the country's biggest promoters were hit with penalties after Bruce Springsteen and Boyzone concerts broke the strict regulations.

Aiken Promotions had a €50,000 deposit withheld by the local authority after the Springsteen gig, staged at the RDS arena in the summer of 2008, exceeded the permitted 75 decibel levels, with some songs topping out at 87dB.

MCD was fined €40,000 after a Boyzone concert at RDS on June 28 hit noise levels of 78.9 dB.

A third act that appeared outdoors at the RDS last year, US heavy metal group Linkin Park, was found not to have breached any noise levels.

Even before Bono took to the stage at Croke Park, the gigs were hit with controversy and complaints.

The director of the stadium, Peter McKenna, admitted prior to the concerts that there would have to be a "serious rethink" as to how Croke Park staged large-scale events.

He was reacting to anger of local residents at the terms of the permission granted for the dismantling of the U2 stage.

The council allowed for continuous 44-hour works from midnight July 27 until 8pm on July 29 to take the stage down.

Pat Gates, of the Croke Park Area Residents Alliance, said residents were "at the end of their tether" with the council and with Croke Park management.

Hindsight

"The bottom line is they never pay any cognisance to the people who have to live with this," Mr Gates said.

However, Mr McKenna said the feelings of the residents were "entirely understandable".

He added that "in hindsight it might have been better if there were only two concerts and they would be finished on the Saturday night", giving the band more time to take down the stage.

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- Cormac Murphy

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This page contains a single entry by Rita published on November 12, 2009 2:52 AM.

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