Update: Live Music At The Edgewater – The Edgewater
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Event on the Grand Plaza

Update: Live Music At The Edgewater

Hello Edgewater Supporters and Live Music Fans! As you know, we’re continuing to work with the City of Madison and our neighbors to resume our live music events on The Grand Plaza. We are seeking an entertainment license under the terms and conditions that were negotiated and established by the Public Access Management Agreement (PAMA) in 2012. This gave us the right to host events 365 days a year.

Throughout the course of our community programming, we’ve responded to neighborhood concerns through multiple meetings and self-policing. Generally, this includes ending events at 9pm verses 11 pm, as is allowed in the PAMA. We have reduced the number of events scheduled for 2017, and most recently, invested in a band shell made specifically to reduce the sound produced and emitted towards the neighborhood. Also important to note, is that we’ve never received a ticket or citation, and we want to be good partners with the neighborhood.

We’ve now gone one step further and proposed a Sound Management Plan. The details of which are below, but the fundamental principle of the plan is to limit the decibel level to 80 at the street level, which is 10 decibels lower than what the City negotiated with the neighbors around Breese Stevens Field, and what the City allows in City parks. Our hope has been that the City would agree that this plan addresses the concerns about sound and is an example of our continued willingness to find good solutions for all parties.

In addition to this Sound Management Plan, we pledge to continue working with neighbors to address noise concerns that may arise from time to time and to implement reasonable measures to mitigate such concerns.  As part of this commitment, we will host an annual neighborhood meeting in the spring to review the event plan for the coming year, and will have a representative attend the monthly meetings of Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc. to stay informed about any noise concerns that may arise.

Since 1948, The Edgewater has been proud to be part of Madison and the Mansion Hill neighborhood. The Grand Plaza and our community programming is part of a promise we made to the City of Madison, to operate as a public space, offering public access to Lake Mendota, free family-friendly events and more. We invest over $200,000 each year in programming. These events are a key part of our business strategy and ultimately supports over 250 jobs.

If you’d like to support live music at The Edgewater and our proposals to mitigate sound, here’s how you can help:


  1. Maintaining an amplified sound level of no greater than a sustained 95 dBA (across all octave bandwidths) at the sound production stage/plaza level for each live music event. Further, the Edgewater will also maintain a dBA level under 80 at the street level, the measurement of which shall be taken at the mid-point of the intersection of Langdon and Wisconsin Avenue. This is a maximum level for live entertainment events; it is anticipated that many events will operate well below this level.
  2. Measuring sound levels at a pre-event sound check and no less than every 30 minutes through the duration of the event.
  3. Contracting a professional sound engineer to measure these sound levels.
  4. Measuring sound levels with a Type 1 sound level meter, manufactured according to standards prescribed by the American National Standards Institute in specification S1.4 (Revised 1971).
  5. Contracting all artists under these agreed upon decibel levels.
  6. Contracting all third party partners for events with the requirement that the clients of The Edgewater adhere to these standards and that The Edgewater will monitor and control the sound production for said events.

We’ve also noted there may be some exceptions.

  1. In limited instances, The Edgewater may host events that allow dBA levels in excess of the above restrictions (e.g. Fourth of July, Labor Day, larger concert, ticketed event, etc.) provided:
    1. such instances will not occur more than four (4) times per year;
    2. notification of such events will be provided to both the City of Madison Police Department and the District 2 Alder at least 7 days prior to said event;
    3. the sound level for such events will not exceed 100 db at the sound production stage/plaza level and 90 dBA at street level, measured from the mid-point of the intersection of Langdon and Wisconsin Avenue.

In accordance with City ordinances, The Edgewater will follow all lawful directives of the Madison Police Department and will work with the department to ensure sound is maintained at reasonable levels in accordance with this plan.