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NJ Residents: Concerts At Manhattan Venue Are Making Noise Across Hudson

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WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some New Jersey residents have been getting a front-row seat to the summer’s hottest shows, but not everyone has been thrilled with the free music.

As CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported, the Hudson River is a mile wide. But when concerts fire up at the new Pier 97 amphitheater at 57th Street on the West Side of Manhattan, residents of West New York, New Jersey, say the distance seems to evaporate into thin air.

“The beat – the boom-t-t-boom – you can kind of like, ‘Where is that?’” said Regina Daly, of West New York.

“You could definitely hear the music very loud and clear,” added Missy Neuwelt, of West New York.

DNAInfo reporter Matthew Katz posted two video clips recorded from a balcony at the Hudson Club condo building in West New York.

Even with the door closed, the sound was still clearly audible.

Some residents said they appreciate the free shows.

“We actually walked to the waterfront to listen to it,” Neuwelt said.

But others said they are ready for some peace and quiet.

“There are times it gets a little frustrating,” Daly said.

During shows, speakers blast the music away from Manhattan toward the river and New Jersey on purpose. The goal is to avoid noise complaints from those closest to the venue, on the West Side of Manhattan.

“You get all of this concentrated sound just going right across the Hudson,” said acoustic engineer Al Fierstein, of Acoustilog.

Fierstein has advised the city on numerous outdoor venues. He explained how the setup at Pier 97 sends sound waves straight to New Jersey.

“It bends down toward the water, bounces off the water, bends down again toward the water and skips across the water the same way a stone can skip across a lake,” he said.

The Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees Pier 97, called the inaugural concert series an undeniable hit. But the trust admitted that it has received a number of noise complaints from New Jersey residents.

“We take noise issues very seriously,” said Hudson River Park Trust president Madelyn Wils. “We did not anticipate that the noise would travel that far, and so we are addressing every single person.”

Experts said a quick fix would be to point speakers down toward the crowd to contain the noise, instead of up and out.

Wils said the trust has been considering that option and others, but hopes to have the issue fixed before the next show on Aug. 15.

Concerts at Pier 97 are around $40 per ticket. Proceeds support other free activities along the Hudson River.

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