Big Day Out gets a Claremont curfew
Picture: Lincoln Baker / The West Australian.

The Big Day Out music festival will have to meet tough new noise restrictions and be forced to finish an hour earlier than planned when it is held at Claremont Showgrounds next month.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion announced the State Government had approved the event being held at the suburban venue this afternoon.

The decision comes after the Town of Claremont opposed the event organisers’ application to hold the festival at the showgrounds, saying it was fed up with antisocial behaviour from patrons and the promoters’ disregard for noise restrictions.

Crowds were down for last year’s Big Day Out held on the Victoria Park foreshore after organisers tried to sell a stripped-back festival, without headliner Kanye West.

Mr Marmion said the 2013 festival, to be headlined by American stadium rockers Red Hot Chilli Peppers on January 28, would finish by 10pm and the Department of Environment and Conservation would monitor noise levels throughout.

He said the conditions allowed some breaches of noise restrictions to take into account factors over which the organisers have no control, such as changing winds or unusual weather conditions.

The festival would be allowed to start an hour earlier, at 10am, due to the earlier finishing time.

“I’ve taken into consideration the council’s views and advice from the DEC and weighed these against the overall benefit of the festival and ways to mitigate noise concerns,” Mr Marmion said.

“I acknowledge that this is a challenging event to manage with respect to noise, but consider that the proposed conditions of approval are reasonable and the organisers should be able to comply with them.”

Town of Claremont chief executive Stephen Goode said while the council remained opposed to the concert being held at the showgrounds, he was pleased the Minister had responded to issues relating to sound levels and the closing time.

Mr Goode said he was sure the community would be grateful for the new conditions because it would reduce the impact on them if the promoters complied.

“I think it will be well received by the community because they were very concerned about what was proposed before,” Mr Goode said.

“On the other hand there’s still going to be problems with it and it’s a pity that there’s not a way to address all of those.

“It’s not the concerts that are the problem. The problem is when the promoters ignore the sound levels and when there’s antisocial behaviour before and after the concerts outside the showgrounds.”

DEC will issue organisers with their approval and the new ministerial conditions, which are not subject to appeal.

The West Australian

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