Skip to main content

Could you keep it down? Some downtown residents not so keen on Stampede music festival noise


While thousands of Stampede partiers pack into tents every night, those living nearby watch from above, but they're not necessarily celebrating.

"It's super difficult to sleep. … The windows are bouncing, vibrating, people are screaming, you can even hear cheering from the room," said Daniel Juarez, who lives three blocks away from Badlands Music Festival.

He says the music is so loud, he can't sleep and while tents are supposed to shut things down at 2 a.m., he feels some nights, it's even later.

"On Monday, it went to at least 3 a.m.," he said.

Since 2019, Stampede bars have been able to apply for a noise exemption from the City of Calgary, allowing them to play music and serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

"We have been out every night. We have officers monitoring these locations to ensure that they are in compliance with our permits," said Bradley Johnson, an inspector with City of Calgary community safety.

According to the city's website, outdoor concerts cannot exceed a volume of 85 decibels measured over a one-hour period.

That's about as loud as a passing train or heavy road traffic.

Using an app on his phone, levels were nearing that limit on Juarez's balcony, three blocks away.

Businesses could face a fine of up to $10,000 and risk being denied when asking for permits the following year.

The city says so far, complaints have been somewhat light.

"Roughly around 50 complaints to date, so that's from July 4 to (Wednesday)," Johnson said.

And when it comes to complaining, tourists and locals alike don't have too much sympathy.

"Those people living here did know they were picking an apartment near Stampede, right?" one person said.

"I say join the party, have fun," said another.

"There's dollars in it. People are making money. Retailers are making money. So I say suck it up for two weeks, go on holiday and Airbnb your house," said a third individual.

After filing a complaint last Friday, Juarez says he hopes the city will take another look at its noise bylaws and exemptions and find a balance between those on both sides of the tent.

"We do understand that Stampede is important for the city, important for the province, but you have to have respect for people living in the area," he said.

According to a public Facebook post, Badlands Music Festival put up notices in some nearby buildings advising residents about the event.

The notice says the production team is monitoring sound at all times.

CTV News Calgary reached out to Badlands Music Festival but did not hear back. Top Stories

Stay Connected