Police turn down the volume on VIP party
Camden — Camden Police turned down the volume on a business and media-sponsored VIP party celebrating the opening night of the 8th annual Camden International Film Festival Thursday, Sept. 26, after receiving a flurry of noise complaints, reportedly from neighbors of the private residence where the gala took place.
The gala followed a sold-out opening night screening — and Maine premiere — of "Betting the Farm," a film about a group of Maine dairy farmers who decide to start their own milk company after being dropped by their national milk company and faced with potentially losing their farms. Attendees packed the Camden Opera House forcing a second, overflow screening at the Bay View Street Cinema. Lines for the box office could be seen circling the block nearly an hour before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. start of the film.
Camden Police Lt. Mike Geary said Camden Police received three noise complaint calls between 10:52 p.m. and 11:09 p.m. Geary said Sgt. Patrick Polky was dispatched to the residence — located on a private road off High Street — where he verbally asked the noise level be reduced. Geary said continuing in violation despite the warning could have resulted in the issuance of a summons for disorderly conduct.
Geary said upon arriving at the residence, Polky made contact with a pre-designated responsible party and event organizers appeared to immediately work to comply with the warning. Geary said festival staff had performed requisite protocol, meeting with Camden Police and informing them about the event in advance.
Geary said a fourth complaint was received by police at 12:55 a.m. and speculated that call may have been related to party guests departing the premises.
Geary said no permit was necessary for the party because it was held at a private residence. According to the town of Camden Police Ordinance, in the Public Noise and Conduct Ordinance, 'the playing, using or operating of any...device for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner as to unreasonably annoy or disturb the peace, quiet comfort or repose of any other person located more than fifty feet from that sound shall be prohibited between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. the following morning."
The ordinance applies to specific districts of downtown Camden; High Street is not included as one of the designated areas.
A Friday Night Lights party took place the following night, and a Vimeo-sponsored party on Saturday both took place at the Bicknell Factory Building in Rockland.
Camden Herald Staff can be reached at 236-8511, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.