The shows will go on: Nevada City mayor stresses cooperation, working with one another over amplified music |

The shows will go on: Nevada City mayor stresses cooperation, working with one another over amplified music

Despite scares that the music would stop in Nevada City, musicians, businesses and local officials have come to a compromise that allows amplified music outdoors, within reason.

“We don’t allow outside amplified music, but we are in the time of COVID,” Mayor Erin Minett said. “As long we aren’t getting complaints from neighborhoods about loud music or late music, we really don’t have an issue. The problem comes when we start to get complaints.”

Last week, local musicians already struggling to find open venues feared they would no longer be able to play amplified music outdoors after one business was the subject of multiple noise complaints. Grass Valley guitarist Peter Wilson said he had a gig last week cancelled temporarily due to concerns the music would not be allowed.

“There was some nuance that needed to be taken into consideration,” Wilson said.

The show eventually went through without a hitch after clarification from city officials, but not before giving other musicians a scare as well.

“I was freaking out,” saxophonist Gary Regina said. “How many more … hammering downs can we take in this economy?”

While the issue has now been resolved, Regina said any additional obstacle would have been devastating for musicians, which is why some may have tried to skirt the ban.

“They’re trying to do whatever they can to survive, just like everyone else is,” he said. “Musicians are trying to bend a little bit to help the clubs, the clubs are trying to bend a little bit to help out the musicians. We realize we’re all in this together and everyone is just trying to help each other out.”


Minett sent an email to business owners last week explaining that while the city does prohibit it, officials would allow the amplified music and talk to any business owners about complaints should they arise.

“There are rumors that the City is shutting down outdoor music this weekend. This is also not the case. I am asking as the Mayor that if you are having outdoor music that you be considerate of your neighboring businesses and residents and keep your music volume down and end by 10 PM,” the email stated.

“They just need to turn it down, it’s not that big of a deal. This is really about cooperation, working with each other. That’s what’s fair to everyone in town,” Minett added Tuesday.

According to Gretchen Bond, executive director of Miners Foundry in Nevada City, while they haven’t received any complaints, she can see how the town’s hilly terrain could contribute to sound reaching some unintended ears.

“Music travels in ways that business owners don’t necessarily know which way the music travels,” Bond said. “If there’s noise that’s bothering somebody I would really appreciate it if someone would call us, then we can figure out where it’s going and resolve it together. That’s always the best way to handle any kind of concern, I think. We all have to adjust to make this work so we need to be supportive of each other to move in the right direction.”

Minett echoed the sentiment and emphasized the city’s collective focus should be on moving forward with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new color-coded reopening plan announced last week. The new system places Nevada County in the red, or “substantial risk,” category, with the ability to expand reopening as it moves through the four-tiered plan based on its number of cases and positivity rate.

“Our businesses are working so hard just to keep their businesses going and the city wants to support that as much as we can,” Minett said. “Social distancing and wearing masks are the top things that will allow us to move into the orange and open more capacity in restaurants, if we can get the community to work together.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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