NEW ORLEANS – The Buku Music + Art Project wrapped up after a sold out weekend.
It brought thousands of people to the Crescent City, but some residents said it also brought unacceptable levels of noise into their neighborhood. For the second year, the festival was held at Mardi Gras World and included a stage on the Mississippi River.
But across the river in Gretna's McDonoughville neighborhood, those like Edna Centola said the noise was unbearable.
“It sounded like it was right in the house with you,” said Centola, who has lived in the home for over three decades. She said she’d never heard noise that loud coming from Mardi Gras World.
“You didn't sleep, I did not sleep at all. I was up until after midnight," she said.
Centola said she was one of many who called Gretna Police Friday, only to be told it was a New Orleans issue and not much could be done.
On Saturday, miles from Mardi Gras World, those near the New Orleans Industrial Canal reported hearing the noise.
“It was a boom, boom, boom,” said Frank Laplaca.
Laplaca says the music rattled his windows and walls.
“It was horrible. It was the worst loudest noise we'd ever heard in our life,” said Laplaca, who has lived in the home since 1959.
Laplaca believes the sound traveled over water in the direction of the wind. He hopes there will be more restrictions on noise level and hours in the future.
“They shouldn't be allowed to keep the whole city awake. That's ridiculous,” he said.
Event organizers said they made sure to shut down the main outdoor stage by midnight out of respect for area residents. But neighbors believe that's too late and the music was too loud.
Organizers said they're trying to make a positive impact on the community, pointing out that the event had an economic impact on the city.
"We are aware of noise complaints from residents and apologize for any inconvenience they may have experienced... We are listening to the New Orleans community to do our best to make adjustments for the future,” they said in a statement.
New Orleans police were unable to provide information at the time of this report on how many noise complaints it addressed related to Buku, and how those complaints were handled.
Video of BUKU fest courtesy Gerald Gruenig