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Ascarate, Cielo Vista homeowners say Sun City Music Festival was too loud

Neighbors complain about Sun City Music Festival

EL PASO, Texas - The Sun City Music Festival at Ascarate Park was the premiere Labor Day Weekend event in the Borderland for the sixth straight year. This year proved to be the festival's biggest, and according to some El Paso homeowners, possibly the loudest yet.

"A lot of thumping, it was an obnoxious sound for a while, I thought it was a high school party or something," said Angelica Urbina, who lives off Edgemere near Burges High School. "We started hearing it probably since like 10 at night until about two in the morning."

Residents in the Cielo Vista area near Montana, a good six miles from Ascarate park, also complained the music and heavy bass rattled their windows.

The festival dates back to 2011 and draws some of the world's top electronic dance acts. This year, it once again broke its own attendance record with crowds reportedly in excess of 25-thousand both Saturday and Sunday. Organizers say the festival attracts fans from 48 different states and 13 different countries.

Urbinia told ABC-7 this year's festival was simply too loud and went on way too late Sunday. "I actually called the cops because it was way past midnight. My husband and I kind of put our heads together and realized it was the festival."

Urbina said her husband, a Border Patrol Agent who had to get up for work at five Monday morning, was most upset about it. "Their shifts start very early and he couldn't go to sleep, because you could feel it on the windows, like it really sounded like it was really close by," Urbina said, "I never would have thought it was that far because you could really feel the thumping, the dogs were barking up a storm."

Dolores Flores, who lives less than a mile from Ascarate, told ABC-7 she thought the noise was thunder. "I asked my husband: is it going to start raining? And then he goes, 'No, I think its the music from Ascarate Park."

Flores said they we went to bed late and the music was still going at about 2 a.m. Monday. "They say, 'if its too loud.you're too old.' I don't consider myself too old, I can still party and stuff, but still, you've got to have respect for other people."

"Sun City Music Festival aims to be a positive neighbor in the community, both in terms of localized charitable giving, cultural enrichment, and economic impact," said Evan Bailey, the festival's promoter.

Bailey told ABC-7 sound levels were under legal limits. "SCMF remains committed to working alongside the community, local officials, and experts to reduce impact on our neighbors," he said.

El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar sent ABC-7 the following statement: "The County has been working to ensure that Ascarate Park is a venue that offers diverse entertainment venues for our community. We also want to be respectful of the neighborhoods that surround (the park). I've brought the complaints about the Sun City Music Festival's decibel level and how late it went to our administration and parks division and will be sure to follow up with them (Tuesday). We need to balance the community's support for the festival with the concerns over noise in our neighborhoods."


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