Mia Argentieri knows she’s lucky. She has an apartment with a balcony in The Philadelphian on the Parkway. Her balcony has a great view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Last week, Argentieri went out for some fresh air, her morning coffee and newspaper. But she had to wear earplugs to block out the construction noises as the city readied itself for the thousands expected to attend this weekend's Budweiser Made in America music festival.
“It’s a two-day event, but it’s not a two-day event,” she said, as music floated up to her door Friday morning.
Argentieri, who has lived on the Parkway for a couple of years, said she likes that the country turns its eyes to Philadelphia during the concert, which is great for the city, she said. Nearly 50 acts will entertain people gathered along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, including Kanye West on Saturday night and Pharrell Williams and Kings of Leon on Sunday.
But construction noises and sound checks seem to start sooner and earlier in the day every year – around 8 a.m. Thursday, Argentieri said. That affects people who live up and down the Parkway.
“This is a lovely event for some people,” the 68-year-old retired business owner said. “But it’s not a lovely event for those of us who live in the neighborhood.”
Some of her neighbors who wouldn’t normally go away now leave the area every Labor Day weekend so they don’t have to deal with the traffic headaches, road closures, parking restrictions, and constant loud sound they couldn’t otherwise escape. She plans to be one of those people next year.
“Have the event and have it somewhere else,” she said. “Or have it here and limit the time.”
She said she’ll use earplugs this weekend when she can no longer handle more than 10 straight hours of music on Saturday and nine hours on Sunday.
“It’s lovely for an hour or 2 hours or 3 hours,” she said. “But for 19 hours, it’s just too much.”Leaving in the middle of the weekend for a few hours means sacrificing good parking spaces.
People who come for the concert can decide when to show up and when to leave during the festival, but residents don’t have that choice, Argentieri said.
“We’re stuck,” she said. “You either leave before it starts and come back on Monday when it’s over, or you’re here until it’s over.”
City officials say they've worked to minimize the noise for neighbors. They've repositioned a stage in consideration of those who live in the Parktowne complex. They're using a sound-dampening techology on subwoofers - basically they place them on a bed of sand and rubber to reduce the transmission of sound waves.
- Michaelle Bond -