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Guitarists Ryan Williams and Tyler Valendza, of Red Sun Rising, played at WiiL Rock Fest Saturday, Aug. 22, at Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Memorial Park. (Photo By Ronnie Mason)After neighbors complained about 95 WiIL Rock Fest, the organizers of have vowed to make changes at their next concert, Rocktober Fest.

About 5,000 people attended WiIL Rock Fest on Aug. 22, a 12-hour music festival held at the Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Memorial Park. People behaved themselves inside the park pretty well, but some neighbors living around the park complained about the noise and cursing, said Caledonia Police chief Toby Schey.

But Jim Svboda, superintendent from the joint park, told the Caledonia village board at its meeting Tuesday that Rocktober Fest, which will be held Oct. 3 at the Caledonia-Mount Pleasant, will be different.

“We’re trying to be more proactive to resolve these issues,” Svboda said. “Some residents near that lived near the park voiced their concerns and we’re addressing them. We’re hoping to get to a middle ground here so the park brings revenue into the community.”

Ray Stibeck, who owns GZK Entertainment, is one of the organizers of Kraut Fest, Wiil Rock Fest and Rocktober Fest. Stibeck pointed out that the crowd that attended Wiil Rock Fest was better behaved that the crowd at Kraut Fest, but both events had few arrests.

“The problem with Wiil Rock Fest was the cursing in between the songs with people dropping f-bombs,” Stibeck said. “I feel sorry for residents because they had to listen to it and I feel sorry for myself because I just didn’t think about it. We were more concerned about liquor and people trashing people’s yards.”

Lee Knause, a resident that lives near the park, said he heard 12 F-bombs between just one song and his 13-year-old daughter wasn’t able to sleep because the noise was so loud.

“So he goofed and I understand it’s a money thing,” Knause said. “But he (Stibeck) stood here at the neighbor meeting the week before and I said I would be concerned with lyrics, but he got hung up with the traffic and the liquor.”

Caledonia village board member and joint parks commission member Ed Willing said he personally got 20 calls about the noise and vulgar language.

“But more things will be done differently in the future,” he said.

Changes being made include:

  • Requiring bands to refrain from using profanity during their performances, unless it’s a legitimate lyric in the song. Violators will pay hefty fines, be shut down and not paid.
  • All amplified music will end at 11 pm.
  • Organizers promise to be more selective of the bands they have performing at the venue.
  • Music will be turned down to 85 to 90 decibel.

A Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Park Facebook page has also been started so that neighbors can communicate with park personnel and event organizers.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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