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Criticism of New Red Rocks Partnership Leads to Petition to Repeal Decibel Limit at Shows

| June 26, 2021

Fans are not happy about the prospect of having to wear headphones at Red Rocks shows just to hear the music at a reasonable sound level.

Ahead of Kygo‘s return to the stage for the first time in 18 months, Red Rocks unveiled a partnership that ruffled some feathers among some of the iconic amphitheater’s loyal following.

Red Rocks’ Twitter account announced that the world-renowned venue would be rendering the services of Mixhalo, a mobile app which streams soundboard audio at studio level quality. The tweet suggested that concert-goers in rows 40 and above bring wired headphones to the show in order to listen to the concert from their phone while onsite. 

The idea of wearing headphones at a live concert did not sit well with fans. Additionally, many quickly connected the dots and saw this announcement as an attempt on the part of Red Rocks management to keep the overall sound low.

“This is so lame,” one fan replied. “Fight the overly restrictive sound ordinance and put in some delay stack speakers. This venue deserves world class sound quality. Not some compromise silent disco situation.”

Red Rocks has been forced to adhere to decibel limits imposed by the city of Denver and faces $10,000 penalties if the sound at any given concert exceeds those limits for a prolonged period of time. Retaining the services of Mixhalo could be a way for management to work well within the confines of the sound limits while ensuring all listeners have the opportunity to hear the music.

Some fans pointed out that Mixhalo is an innovative technology that warrants a try. The app, which was founded in 2017, was co-founded by Mike Einziger of Incubus, who has made it his mission to deliver a technology that digitally captures the sounds of live events at the lowest latency possible.

Colorado’s historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Nonetheless, the announcement spawned a new Change.org petition aimed at repealing the decibel limit imposed by the city of Morrison. Its organizers called Red Rocks’ insistence on bringing headphones to shows “unacceptable,” noting that people travel from all over the world to experience the remarkable acoustics offered by its towering monoliths.

“This petition is being written to address a very serious problem that will surely effect the entertainment industry/economy in Colorado,” reads the appeal. “Now that Red Rocks shows have resumed virtually every night since its COVID restrictions were lifted, there is no reason why a Tuesday night show should be significantly quieter than a weekend show. Repeal/raise the Morrison noise ordinance. It’s now detrimental to the Red Rocks experience we all know and love.”

At the time of this article’s publication, the petition has garnered just shy of 8,000 signatures with a goal of 10,000.

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