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Police Shut Down Madison Theater at End of "Dubstep" Concert

There was just roughly ten minutes left in the performance by Datsik at the Madison Theater in Covington as the clock neared 1:00AM Friday morning, but someone left a side door open and the loud, bass-heavy dubstep music filled the street prompting noise complaints to the police by residents throughout the show. Covington Police, after requesting that the door remain closed multiple times, arrived one final time and shut down the show and evacuated the theater's five or six hundred concert-goers. One employee was arrested.

"It wasn't a situation where they (officers) drove down there one time on a complaint and shut it down, it was a number of complaints," said Covington Police Chief Spike Jones. "Every time they'd go back the conditions were the same. I don't know why they would do that. We've never had that type of issue at the Madison before."

Madison Theater owner Esther Johnson knows exactly why they had that type of issue. Someone with the artist repeatedly left a side door open near where the performers would exit the stage to the green room even after being asked to keep it closed, she said. "Some of these (dubstep) groups are used to playing in hayfields," said Johnson, who was working at the theater at the time of the closure. "Some of that stuff is just too loud."

Dubstep is described as an electronic form of dance music described online as "tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals". Datsik is a national touring dubstep artist from Canada who tweeted to his 147,000 Twitter followers after the closure, "Covington, we just got shut down early because of the police. Reason why is because it was was too loud. Thanks @PKsound  haha." @PKsound is the Twitter profile for PK Sound, a sound manufacturing, touring, event production and rental company. In fact, Johnson said that even though she has an expensive sound system, this type of show requires even more sound brought in by the artist. "It was a big production. They put their own speakers up," she said. Johnson had two staff members monitoring the noise level so that it didn't blow up the system.

It was also Johnson's sound system that prompted the arrest of an employee. When Covington Police officers told the employee that they were shutting the venue down, the employee, afraid that an officer may unplug the $250,000 system and blowing it, place his hand on the officer and asked him to wait. The employee was charged with second-degree disorderly conduct and was bailed out of jail Friday morning. 

Johnson said the police were well within their rights to do what they did and that she is not upset about the situation. She also apologized to the nearby tenants who likely complained to the police from apartments that Johnson also owns. "It's just got so much bass," she said, and from the apartments, "You don't hear music, you just hear that thump, thump."

If a similar performance is ever booked at the theater, Johnson said that she will make sure there is an agreement about the sound and the door to the outside. The Madison Theater is one of Covington's top attractions and is currently in the midst of an expansion. The recent Center City Action Plan recommended that city officials develop part of Downtown Covington around the momentum that surrounds the theater.

PHOTO: Datsik via @Datsik on Twitter

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