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Kala Ghoda fest turns down volume

Festivities at the 11th edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival got a minor blow on Wednesday when the authorities had to tone down the sound levels for their live events at the amphitheatre, reports Purva Mehra.

mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2010 01:17 IST
Purva Mehra

Festivities at the 11th edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival got a minor blow on Wednesday when the authorities had to tone down the sound levels for their live events at the amphitheatre.

A day into the launch of the festival a week ago, Berges Mallu, a resident of the area, lodged a police complaint on the decibel level at the festival.

The Kala Ghoda precinct, which hosts the cultural festival, falls in a silent zone as it is near an educational institute and court premises.

Loudspeakers are prohibited in silent zones.

“We learned of Mallu’s grievance through a national publication and not through Mallu himself,” said Pallavi Sahney Sharma, chief executive of the Kala Ghoda Association.

The association took time to address the complaint, leading to Fazal Qureshi’s fusion concert being pushed back by a day.

“We addressed the issue as soon as we found out. Our intention is not to cause anyone any inconvenience. It’s a community festival and many musicians are keen to perform here,” said Manek Davar, honorary secretary of the festival.

The association claims to have done away with the additional amplification (the loudspeakers) at the amphitheatre.

“We are only operating on monitor sound that is well within acceptable decibel levels. We have had this checked by Awaaz Foundation,” Sharma said.

The festival organisers said that they would bear in mind the sound levels while programming the festival next year.

They also acquired a letter from Mallu stating that he was withdrawing his complaint.

“Based on assurances by the organisers to keep decibel levels low, I will not object to the continuance of use of loud speakers,” said the letter.