Too loud? Sunderland Split Festival organisers admit breaking noise rules

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SPLIT Festival bosses have admitted breaching sound levels.

Event bosses said they briefly went over the 75 decibel level during the event on Sunday afternoon.

But those living near Ashbrooke Sports Club, which hosted the musical extravaganza, claim they were disturbed throughout the whole weekend.

Some people living as far away as Millfield said they could hear the songs being played.

So far, Sunderland City Council has received five complaints from people saying music was too loud.

Retired teacher Jean Steinberg said her weekend was spoiled by the performances.

The 78-year-old, who lives in West Lawn, Ashbrooke, said: “It was terrible.

“I wouldn’t mind a concert for three or four hours but it was just too much having it on all day for Saturday and Sunday.

“My friend came over for a coffee and we couldn’t hear each other speak.”

Another woman who also lives in West Lawn, but did not want to be named, said: “On Saturday afternoon I had to get out of the house so I took the dog for a walk but I could even hear it up at Tunstall Hill.”

Today, Rob Deverson, chairman of Ashbrooke Sports Club and co-founder of Split Festival, defended the festival, saying that noise levels were breached only briefly over the course of the event.

Mr Deverson said: “We have been working with the council to fully monitor sound levels over the weekend.

“The limit is 75 decibels in every 15 minutes and I think it looks like we went over that, briefly, on Sunday afternoon.

“I believe it was at 77 decibels but it was just a musical blip that we spoke to the sound people about.”

Mr Deverson added that Split was now an important event in Sunderland’s cultural calendar.

“We’ve got to remember the ethos of the event,” he said.

“It is put together to celebrate Sunderland culture and we have a very strong local line-up which it would be a shame if it couldn’t continue.

“We understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.”

Norma Johnston, assistant head of Street Scene at Sunderland City Council, said: “The city council follows national guidelines on large-scale outdoor music events as environmental health officers and specialist noise consultants work together with organisers to monitor noise levels.”

Ms Johnston added that environmental health officers were looking into five complaints about Sunday.

Twitter: @davidallison88