Last week I met in London with Charlotte DC (Wilderness Event Manager) and Dave McCalmont (Production Director) and we had a most useful discussion about Wilderness, and the late noise on Sunday evening. It has been agreed by them that the following note can be posted on the Charlbury web. A copy is also on the Forum, should anybody wish to comment:
While appreciating the good and enjoyment that Wilderness brings to everyone, there are yet many of us in Charlbury who, having taken the trouble to go away for the weekend of the Festival, come home on Sunday evening and find that it is difficult to sleep until well into Monday morning. Charlotte and Dave explained that Wilderness has no wish to be a bad neighbour and that the late night timings for the festival had come after consultation. The festival recognises that Thursday and Sunday are more sensitive in terms of late night noise and have attempted to manage noise with this in mind. The late night stage and the timings are part of the festival's efforts to control noise, especially noise coming from the camping areas (which are the areas of the festival closest to residences). They explained that the late-night stage was positioned to face down to the valley, and that the noise limits were designed with the idea that there should very limited noise audible off-site after 11pm on Sunday. We all agreed, that the limits are almost irrelevant as to the actual decibel levels monitored, as noise is noise. There was a particular issue with the bass, which caused disturbance on Sunday night for those going to work on Monday morning.
For 2017, Wilderness are going to put more emphasis on programming late night entertainment on Sunday which doesn't require amplified music - more spoken word, theatre, comedy, feasts and the like. They will also programme music that doesn't have bass after 11pm. They agreed to give greater prominence to the necessary telephone numbers which we could ring. We also discussed the fact that noise in Charlbury travels over water, and according to the wind, and the particular position of houses who are troubled. We agreed, that it was not practical for those of us who were disturbed by the music to ring the Council, wait for someone to come out and monitor, and report back, when all we wanted to do was go to sleep! Wilderness also have a team of their own noise monitoring staff, so when contacted they will go to wherever the noise is being heard as fast as possible, and try and deal with the problem.
Each year they did ask for feedback after the festival in the form of a festival survey, but it was on Social Media, which, as I pointed out, was not used by everyone in Charlbury. They are, however, planning to have another open forum in Charlbury probably sometime around January 17th. They are sincerely anxious not to annoy Charlbury residents, and they would like to hear from anyone who is disturbed by the festival. Meanwhile, I gather that they only had a summary of some of the complaints, so I promised to forward those that were on the Charlbury Forum after the 2016 Wilderness Festival, as well as any private notes I have had. Helen Bessemer-Clark