At least one more concert will be held at the new Lights on Sheyenne 32 Plaza before the end of 2020 with the announcement this week that EPIC Events will host the dueling piano act, Deuces Wild, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.
The new act announcement comes on the heels of comments from many residents on earlier concerts promoted by Epic Events such as Hairball and Sawyer Brown, which were held with COVID-19 restrictions but amidst concerns of further spread of the virus.
Some West Fargo residents have also expressed concern with the noise generated by the concerts, although many others have praised Epic, West Fargo Events and the city for offering a new outdoor vendor and a chance to "get out of the house."
The Lights on Sheyenne 32 is owned by the city of West Fargo and managed by the nonprofit West Fargo Events, which also manages the city's POW/MIA Plaza and the school district's West Fargo Sports Arena along with other city events. West Fargo Events leased the plaza to Epic Events for the larger concerts.
Epic Events is an offshoot of Epic Properties which is headed by developer Todd Berning. Epic Events developed The Lights on Sheyenne 32 area which includes the plaza, a city-owned parking ramp and other buildings, as well as Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place on northern Sheyenne Street.
An open records request by the Pioneer found about a dozen comments and complaints that were submitted to the city over noise traveling into their homes after previous concerts. The city has received both praise and concern from residents in regards to holding the concert in the midst of a pandemic.
One noise complaint from a resident of the Eagle Run development, which is just west of The Lights, said the noise is very loud at least three nights a week, prevents her young children from getting to sleep and also causes problems for their dog.
West Fargo Events Executive Director Mike Amundson said he and his staff closely monitor the sound throughout events and soundboard operators will adjust the loudness when needed.
"The difficult thing is that everything from wind and humidity and high and low tones affect how sound travels," Amundson said. "Sometimes 100 decibels will sound different than 100 decibels at another event. It's not an exact science."
The land where the Lights on Sheyenne 32 now stands and additional buildings are planned was once owned by the West Fargo School District and as it built the West Fargo Sports arena, the school district and the city worked together to plan for commercial development of the area that could add restaurants and entertainment.
Amundson said West Fargo Events will continue to monitor noise from events. Last year, West Fargo Events altered the times of outdoor music at the POW/MIA Plaza after noise complaints circulated in northern West Fargo.
"We try to be great neighbors," Amundson said. "What is really surprising is the amount of positive comments and positive feedback we received from people as well."
Amundson said other than the upcoming Deuces Wild event, no more large concerts are planned for the rest of fall 2020.
More information on Deuces Wild can be found on their website at www.wildpianos.com. Tickets for the concert can be found at Ticketmaster.com for $29.00 plus fees. Tickets will be sold as four-person or eight-person tables only. The concert will be held rain or shine.