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After several noise complaints and three visits from the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD), officers pulled the plug on the Rock ‘N’ Flow concert in Santa Rosa Park on April 26.
The crowd had just finished jamming out to headliners Alchemist and Evidence — known together as Step Brothers — when event organizer James Kaye told the crowd the police had arrived and ordered the concert to shut down.
“They (SLOPD) told me to turn off the music or all of the equipment was going to be seized and I was going to be held responsible,” Kaye said.
After Kaye told the crowd the news, rapper Mistah F.A.B, who was supposed to perform after Step Brothers, took the microphone and proceeded to start his act even though the police intended to shut the concert down, Kaye said.
SLOPD pulled the plug before Mistah F.A.B. could start, but he was able to squeeze in a freestyle rap before the crowd dispersed.
But the police report from that day had a few additional details.
The report said a “promoter” went on stage after Kaye told the crowd the concert was going to shut down. According to SLOPD’s Captain Chris Staley’s read on the report, this promoter then attempted to “ramp up the crowd,” and get them angry toward the police.
According to Kaye’s account of that day, there wasn’t any ramping up. They were just trying to go on with the show, Kaye said.
Staley could not be reached to comment on Kaye’s comments.
Rock ‘N’ Flow has dealt with noise complaints before, Kaye said. Last year, they received a few complaints, but the concert was allowed to go on until the time that was prescribed on the event permit — 8 p.m.
This year, the noise level surpassed the 70-decibel mark — the maximum allowed on the permit — thus violating the permit and allowing police to shut down the event.
Kaye expressed his concern with the 70-decibel rule.
“You know, you’re getting 80 decibels just standing on Santa Rosa Avenue with all the cars going by,” he said. “So how you could permit a concert, with amplified sound with an expected attendance of over 500, at 70 decibels, I really don’t know.”
But Kaye did feel responsible for the shutdown.
“I must have missed it,” Kaye said about not noticing they went over 70 decibels. “Honestly, that’s why I feel really bad. I pretty much take responsibility.”