NEW ORLEANS -- This is the third year of Buku Festival in New Orleans and the young event is growing in popularity with acts like Nas, David Guetta and the Flaming lips performing at Mardi Gras World this weekend. Buku markets itself as a music and art project, but the music seems to be the main draw for those attending this year.
"Buku! I came to hear lots of music, enjoy the people,” said Scott Jennings.
"You can't go wrong with loud music," said Killian Coleman.
But as last year showed, you can go wrong with loud music, when it’s too loud. As with any music event you expect a certain level of thumping, but to a degree. Last year, complaints about the overwhelming noise coming from Buku's venue at Mardi Gras World came from across the city and even from across the river in Gretna.
"It sounded like it was inside my house, instead of outside my house," said Gretna resident Edna Centola last year.
The owner of Le Citron Bistro said his walls shook last year, forcing him to shut down for that weekend. The volume of complaints made some City Council members skeptical of allowing Buku to return.
"Looking at any permitting for next year, slim to none coming from my office," said District B City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell.
Producers of the festival got the message loud and clear. Appearing on “The 504” producer Dante Dipasquale told Sheba Turk that Buku has made technical changes to take it down a notch.
"I think a lot of the complaints from last year stem from no one knew who we were and what was happening. We take it really seriously and want our neighbors to be happy. We brought on audio engineers, and I'm not an audio specialist but there's several different things you can do regarding audio set up to sort of limit the throw of the sound," said Dipasquale.
While one side wants Buku to turn it down, the masses at the festival want the opposite.
"I like the music, I wish it could be a little louder," said Killian Coleman.
Music festival organizers must try to please the concert-goers and the residents and businesses of the host city. Striking the right can be music to everyone’s ears.