Image for BDO, Soundwave "at risk of not coming to WA"

BDO, Soundwave "at risk of notcoming to WA"

The man in charge of running the Claremont Showgrounds, Royal Agricultural Society chief executive Martin Molony, has attacked the council for its “elitist” stance which he claims it threatening the future of the festivals like Big Day Out and Soundwave in Perth.

Molony has told WA Today that if a solution to the standoff can’t be reached festivals are “at risk of not coming into WA because the showgrounds is the only venue I can think of which can accommodate 40,000 people right near a railway station”. According to Molony, Arena Joondalup (which hosted the Future Music festival earlier this month) and McCallum Park (where Summadayze was held last year) are too small to host the events.

Yesterday we reported that Claremont Mayor Jock Barker is determined to crack down on the festivals claiming that Soundwave breached the volume restrictions “excessively” and that the council had received complaints from people from as far away as Subiaco and Mosman Park. Claremont council chief executive Stephen Goode has revealed to WA Today that Soundwave had breached the 72 decibel limit and was “regularly monitored at more than 80 decibels”.

Big Day Out promoter Ken West admitted earlier this year that the 2011 Big Day Out had breached the previous noise abatement regulations in Perth “to a minor extent” during the Tool and Rammstien sets. However he was also critical of the introduction of a new noise abatement act in Perth, which had been introduced after the Big Day Out 2012 tickets had gone on sale. According to West the “council and venue were not appreciating the fact that you can’t just keep loading costs on and make it impossible for us to stage a show.”

FasterLouder tried to track Jock Barker down for comment but the mayor wasn’t answering his phone this morning and then refused to answer our questions via email. In a brief reply this afternoon Barker told us that he has “nothing further to add to my comments as already published… Mr Malone [sic] comments do not represent the facts as they stand. If the sound levels were as approved and the antisocial behaviour stopped we would have no problems. Many concerts are held and present no problem.”

However, if Claremont loses the festivals Barker will need to think of some new money spinning ideas for the council. In May last year Perth Now reported that “The City’s revenue from parking fines for music events jumped by more than $100,000 last financial year, including from festivals like Big Day Out, Stereosonic and Good Vibrations Figures reveal Claremont has made more than $171,000 from parking fines issued at the showgrounds so far this year.” According to the report, Claremont council raised a staggering $22,950 just by booking punters attending last year’s Soundwave festival.

Commenting on the fines in an interview with Perth Now last year Barker declared “I’m not embarrassed at all by the amount of money the town pulls in from parking fines at these events. In this day and age, drivers seek to blame everyone else, including the town, for their bad behaviour. We only fine drivers if they are doing something illegal.”

Comments arrow left

RideiTlikeYouStoleit said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

it makes my blood boil everytime i read an article on this subject!!

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

So don't read articles on the subject then?


01seb said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

Isn't 72 decibels pretty quiet? I'm pretty sure I read when Muse were trying to hold their home-coming gigs in 2009 they had to have a 105 decibel limit...


grattan said on the 22nd Mar, 2012


crob said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

does this guy understand that cancelling these festival don't just effect the promoter and punters, there are dozens of local businesses, vendors, hotels etc that make a significant amount of there yearly profits over the weekends of these festivals... i would love to know how much profits drop over splendour time after it moved to woodford....


burgaa said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

a few choice examples of loudness to db

normal conversation at 3' - 60-65 db
telephone ringing - 80db
city traffic inside car - 85 db

so music festivals can't be as loud as city traffic from inside your car? what a crock of shit.


Braveheart81 said on the 22nd Mar, 2012

Presumably the noise levels that caused the problem were readings taken at some distance from the speakers (and indeed the punters at the festival).

The actual music itself would have been much louder than 72 decibels.


batdan said on the 22nd Mar, 2012



musickeepsusalive said on the 23rd Mar, 2012

this really sh**ts me. don't live near a showgrounds/stadium/concert venue if you can't handle noise on a weekends you dipsh*ts


grattan said on the 23rd Mar, 2012

Not a good year for Perth - they missed out on Heatwave + Chic and Seal both cancelled their tours over there...


aliago said on the 23rd Mar, 2012

No, I would imagine they would only do the east coast.


kurtdaniel said on the 30th Jun, 2012

Unbelievable, I think Perth people need to stand up to these ridiculous rules.. As a [url=]music lessons student.. I totally disagree with not having Big Day Out at WA..


sarcasm_mister said on the 30th Jun, 2012


Nomii said on the 6th Mar, 2013

that is the most fucking ridiculous thing i have ever heard. wanna stop metal and other shows? try to stop a fucking riot! i recon the mayor has a cactus shoved up his ass!


OrdinaryInfidel said on the 6th Mar, 2013

I have a pretty poor opinion of a couple of local promoters being such self important and vocal quasi-celebrities but any prospect of losing festivals at Claremont scares me and pisses me off. The fact the local council seem very hard to appease and don't seem keen on having either BDO or SW in the town at all is a worry. And the fact so many residents put so much pressure on the council is annoying. You moved into the vicinity of a 100 year facility that hosts large events, some to your liking, some not so much. You chose to live there so fucking suck it up.

It is my uninformed opinion that maybe if all parties grew up and played nice they may be able to sort out a suitable compromise.


Oflick said on the 6th Mar, 2013


haydendavies said on the 7th Mar, 2013

no where big enough in Freo, Esplanade Park would be the biggest, I went there for a concert the other day (John Butler, Missy Higgins & Ball Park Music) and it could barely fit 20,000 people.