Northwestern president apologizes for Dillo Day noise

Sophia Bollag, City Editor

University President Morton Schapiro sent an open letter to Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl apologizing after the University received an unusually high number of noise complaints generated by Saturday’s Dillo Day.

The University published the letter on its website Monday, two days after the annual music festival, which generated “far more” noise complaints than in past years, according to the letter.

“Following up on our email exchange, on behalf of Northwestern, I would like to apologize again for the unusually loud level of music that occurred during Dillo Day on Saturday,” Schapiro wrote in the letter. “I assure you that as we plan Dillo Day next year, we will take a careful look at the configuration of the stage and at other ways to reduce noise coming from the event.”

In the letter, Schapiro attributed the increased noise level to the change in the configuration of the stage.
Last year, the main stage faced Lake Michigan to the east. This year, the stage faced south due to construction around the Lakefill.
Most complaints came from the region south of the Lakefill, an area where residents do not usually experience loud music from outdoor events, Deputy Chief of University Police Dan McAleer said.

“They’re not used to that, and they certainly don’t expect that from an outdoor music festival,” McAleer said. “It just really impacted that area a lot more than we expected,”

The volume was turned down between 3 and 4 p.m. and again for the last act of the show — the performance by rapper 2 Chainz — in response to the high number of noise complaints, McAleer said.

Tisdahl contacted Schapiro about the problem the following day, University spokesman Al Cubbage said, which prompted the president’s apology.

This article has been updated with additional information and to clarify that Schapiro apologized after the University received complaints, and not for the complaints themselves.

Patrick Svitek contributed reporting.

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