For the second time this season, a rock band playing at the Greek Theatre violated the Los Angeles noise ordinance, police Capt. Robert Taylor said.
Noise measured by police investigators during shows at the popular 6,000-seat amphitheater in Griffith Park last Thursday indicated that British rocker Adam Ant and his band violated several sections of city noise laws, Taylor said. In August, similar violations were recorded during a show by the popular singer Sting and his group.
The noise readings, taken from streets and homes in the wealthy Los Feliz area near the open-air Greek Theatre, are part of a continuing police investigation prompted by neighbors' complaints about loud music, traffic and rowdy fans.
District Attorney to Investigate
Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lynch said Wednesday that he expects to soon begin investigating a police report of excessive noise from the Aug. 20 show by Sting. Police said the complaint about the Adam Ant show will be sent to Lynch next week.
The apparent violations of the Los Angeles noise laws at the Greek will be investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office instead of the city to avoid a possible conflict of interest, Deputy City Atty. Keith Pritsker said. Los Angeles owns the Greek Theatre and receives a percentage of the revenue from performances there.
"It's possible for someone to criticize our handling of the case no matter what we do, because the city gets a percentage of the profits," said Pritsker, who investigates noise violation cases for the city.
If the district attorney's office decides to issue a complaint for noise violations, the performers and Nederlander of California, the entertainment company that operates the Greek under a lease with the city, could be served with the misdemeanor charges under the City Code, Pritsker said.
However, it is not likely that the visiting rock bands could be held responsible for violating local noise ordinances, Pritsker said.
"If a band has one-night stops all around the country, they can't be expected to anticipate community noise problems wherever they go," Pritsker said. "What seems fair is to have the theater be responsible because they can monitor the sound system."
Most complaints involving large city operations, such as the Hollywood Bowl, have been mediated in a city attorney's hearing rather than through the courts, Pritsker said.
Hollywood Bowl System
Through this process, for example, the Hollywood Bowl was required to install a loudspeaker system that directed sound only to the audience, rather than to nearby neighborhoods.
Police Sgt. Dan Watson, a member of the monitoring team, said the average sound level during last week's show was almost twice the limit. The readings were similar to those recorded during the Sting concert in August, he said. The code forbids concert music heard on adjacent properties to be more than five decibels above the normal sound in the neighborhood.
Among the other ordinance sections possibly violated at both the Sting and Adam Ant shows were restrictions against annoying sound heard more than 200 feet from amplifiers, and sound heard more than 150 feet from the Greek Theatre property line, Watson said.
Greek Theatre manager Susan Rosenbluth could not be reached for comment on the Adam Ant concert. In August, Rosenbluth said the Greek had not received any noise complaints from the neighborhood or police before the Sting concert.
Tired of Complaining
Longtime residents said they have grown tired of complaining about the problem, which, they say, began nearly a decade ago when operation of the theater was taken over from the city by Nederlander.
Since then, what was once a county-subsidized venue with a two-month season has grown into a profitable multimillion-dollar operation with popular, jazz, classical and rock shows from May to October.