Residents’ experience with nightlife noise

Letter by Palladium resident:

Purchasing a condo at the Palladium was an exciting event in my life (first home!).  When I first moved into my condo in March 2008, I loved spending time in my home and inviting friends over on the weekends for dinner or to socialize. 

However, in the last couple of years, the sound of club music has become intolerable.  I no longer want to spend time in my home on the weekends, much less invite friends into my space.  I am ALWAYS kept awake from Thursday - Sunday by the loud pounding music coming from the nearby rooftop clubs.  The noise is so loud that I often tell friends that it is as though Rhianna performs in my living room every single weekend.  I can hear - very distinctly - every word of whatever song is being played, and precisely whatever the DJ shouts over the microphone. 

This level of noise pollution cannot be legal and I am frustrated by the lack of response our community has received in trying to address this issue.  I used to call 911 quite often, but have never noticed any appreciable reduction in noise following my calls, so I've stopped trying.  I now sleep with a floor fan blowing at hurricane forces in a futile effort to drown out the pounding bass music.  Ear plugs have also failed to mitigate the effects of this noise pollution or to improve my ability to sleep through the loud music on the weekends.  This is unacceptable.  I believe I have a right to live in my home without the constant intrusion of loud, pounding bass music.

I do not believe that it is unreasonable to expect one's home to be a private space, free from outside intrusions like pounding dance music at 2:00am. 
I work incredibly long hours and when I am able to be home, I simply want to relax.  This is no longer possible.  I have started traveling out of town as often as possible so that I don't have to deal with the noise.  When I am home, I am deeply distressed both by the noise, as well as by how helpless we are to reduce the noise

e-mail from Palladium resident

thanks so much for your time, research and expertise in putting this White Paper together!  Thank you just does not seem to be adequate.

On Friday and Saturdays I take a valium to calm me down from the anxiety and resentment of the  outrageous interruption of peace and quiet coming from the clubs on Connecticut.  Then when I go to bed, I turn on the bedroom TV to try to ignore heavy bass beat.  It starts and may go on for 2-3 minutes and the beat stops, giving me a false sense of relief.  But it only starts again louder and more intense and my anxiety increases.  In the mean time, I have wax ear plugs that I put in my ears to warm them up, so that by the time I think I am going to go out of my mind, the was plugs have softened and I can push them further into my ears.  Sometimes pushing them in is painful, but the alternative is no sleep.

I have 5  packages of earplugs in the drawer of my bedside table as I have several times gone to CVS and they are sold out.

I too have called 911 with no positive result in reduction of noise.  And told twice by 911 that I would have to call the local police.  We will not give up the fight on this.  It is a blatant violation of the law.


A third resident was so disturbed that she got out of bed at 1 AM on Friday night, went down to Club Central, found the club playing the music that awakened her, confornted the manager who dismissed her request to turn down the volume; next night she went back to the club at 1AM with a police officer and an ABRA inspector both of whom declared that there was nothing they could do.

Residents across the city are suffering from the stunning levels of amplified music that sometimes exceed 93 decibels – the sound of a metro train roaring past.

There is something they can do: order the music turned down or off.

  Are you suffering from amplified sound?  Write to us at contact@dcnightlightnoise.com.

If you have a story of serious noise trouble from Club Central late-night business, write us at contact@dcnightlifenoise.com. Please give details as the effect on you, what time of day, nature of the bothering noise, response of the ABRA and /or police enforcers if you called them.  Please give us name and address, although we will not use your name if you ask us not to.