07/31/2014 10:28 EDT | Updated 09/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Osheaga Hopes Better Sound Quality Will Cut Noise Pollution

Osheaga organizers have taken some last-minute measures to control the sound emanating from the music festival taking place this weekend on l'île Notre-Dame.

The city of Saint-Lambert had threatened to sue the city of Montreal and the Ville-Marie borough if the decibel levels from the festival were too high.

Festival director Jacques Aubé told Radio-Canada that organizers have spent $150,000 on measures to better control the sound.

“We invested in…technology to improve the quality of the sound at the site,” he said.

Those measures will help ensure too much residual noise doesn’t leave the venue, he added.

People living in Saint-Lambert, located just across the river from Parc Jean Drapeau, said they’re fed up with the noise and have likened the situation to having a noisy neighbour who holds wild parties every weekend throughout the summer. 

In addition to Osheaga, several other music festivals, including Heavy MTL and the Vans Warped Tour, take place in the park. 

In March, Saint-Lambert city council voted unanimously to ask Montreal’s downtown borough of Ville-Marie — which is responsible for Parc Jean-Drapeau — to turn down the volume from the 60-decibel limit to 50 decibels.

But rather than lower the sound limit, the Ville-Marie borough voted to do away with the limit altogether.

Saint-Lambert’s city council said it is ready to take Montreal to court if the noise continues.

Councillor Hugues Létourneau said he expects they will collect more proof of the noise pollution this weekend.

"We installed a device to measure the noise on the rooftop of a home," he said.

Létourneau said he believes that Montreal and Ville-Marie have the power to force event organizers to lower the volume of concerts in the park.

The city of Montreal has refused to comment on the issue.

Big crowds expected

A few days before the gates are set to open for the three day festival, the promoter is optimistic about attendance and expects more than 130,000 concert goers.

Attendees come from around the world for Osheaga: more than 55 per cent of ticket purchasers are from outside the province.

This year, the festival features a number of big draws including the reunion of the group Outkast, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys and Lorde.

An additional stage, bringing the total to six, has been added this year to ensure local acts have a piece of the spotlight. Quebecois artists Foxtrott, Alex Nevky and Les Dead Obies are part of this year’s lineup. 

The STM has set up a special Metro pass for concert-goers. The pass is valid from Friday at 5 a.m. to Monday at 5 a.m.. It costs $16 and is available at select Metro stations. 

Photo gallery Osheaga 2014 See Gallery