Music News & Reviews

Aftershock music festival draws huge crowd and some complaints

Butcher Babies singer Carla Harvey performs onstage at the Monster Energy Aftershock, Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Discovery Park in Sacramento.
Butcher Babies singer Carla Harvey performs onstage at the Monster Energy Aftershock, Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Discovery Park in Sacramento. Sacramento Bee

Monster Energy Aftershock, the sixth annual heavy metal festival in Discovery Park, attracted about 50,000 head-banging festivalgoers this weekend, said organizers who are hoping to bring in even more people next year.

The goal is to grow to 40,000 people a day for three days, said Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents and producer of the festival. The capacity is currently limited to 25,000 per day by the city and county of Sacramento.

Two years ago, Aftershock moved from Discovery Park to Gibson Ranch in Elverta, a location that supported a larger audience and more bands.

Some fans preferred that site.

“Gibson Ranch was better because it had four stages and more bands,” said Eric McCalister, a festivalgoer who has attended Aftershock for the past three years. “There was easier access, too.”

But holding the event there meant Sacramento lost out on the economic boost that accompanies such a large festival, prompting a return to Discovery Park in 2016. Last year’s festival generated about $5 million in economic impact and was responsible for more than 5,600 hotel bookings, The Bee reported.

“We love Discovery Park,” Hayes said. “We love the area and we would like to add to the market here.”

Complaints about noise and traffic jams have plagued Aftershock in past years, but organizers have made changes to reduce complaints. Now, festivalgoers park at Sleep Train Arena and are shuttled to the event via buses.

Hayes said he was informed no noise complaints were filed with the Sacramento Police Department on Saturday, even after that night’s headliner performance by Nine Inch Nails.

On Sunday night, Ozzy Osbourne took the stage. West Sacramento police received “over 50 calls” complaining about the noise from Aftershock, Sgt. Roger Kinney, the department’s spokesman, told The Bee on Monday morning. Those complaints are being referred to Sacramento police, he said.

Officer Eddie Macauley, Sacramento Police Department’s spokesman, said Sunday there had been one noise complaint received from West Sacramento.

“As long as the sound level of the event is within the confines of their permit, there’s no action the police can take,” Macauley said.

Kinney said Monday the city of West Sacramento will be reaching out to promoters to discuss noise mitigation during future concerts.

Stephen Sugener lives three miles away from Discovery Park and said he can feel the vibrations through his couch.

“I have all my windows closed and it’s drowning out my TV,” he said, adding that he called the West Sacramento Police Department’s non-emergency line, getting busy signals each time before getting through on his eighth attempt. “The dispatcher told me that their lines are blowing up with noise complaints.”

Despite the complaints, Hayes said he’d like to keep the festival in Discovery Park.

“There are always going to be neighbors wanting us to go away,” Hayes said. “Other than going away, we’re going to do anything to show them the good we do for the community.”

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM