Engines And Rubber

A weekend “shredfest” led to complaints about noise and smells. Lane Events Center says it won’t happen again.

Car drifting through the parking lots at Lane County Fairgrounds. Screenshot via lockdownperformance's Instagram.

On June 28 and 29, neighbors around the Lane County Events Center began to complain of racing engines and the smell of burning rubber tires. 

The Lockdown Performance Shredfest — billed as Lane County’s first “drift event” — took place noon to 8 pm Saturday at the events center and as soon as drivers began practicing Friday evening, complaints came in to Lane County commissioners, the Fair Board and Eugene Weekly‘s letters to the editor.

Jefferson Westside neighbor Anya Dobrowolski  writes in a letter to Eugene Weekly that was also sent to public officials: “Over the weekend, neighbors ears as far as 2+ miles away from the LEC were assaulted by revving enginez and squealing tires for over 3 hours on Friday and 10 hours on Saturday. If you were within 200 yards outdoors or 100 yards inside your home, you could smell burning tires.”

She continues, “This weekend felt like a dystopian future novel, where late stage capitalism and facism moved into a sweet small city. We need to choose how this novel ends. “

She asks, “Do we let out-of-touch administrators from a land-owner that seems to not care about how they show up in our neighborhood make it unlivable or do push out this bad actor? Let’s choose our adventure.”

South Eugene Commissioner Laurie Trieger responded to Dobrowolski that she had been receiving emails and texts about the situation and that late Friday, “as soon as I heard a noise complaint from a fairgrounds neighbor,” she  immediately reached out to Lane Events Center Manager Corey Buller. 

Buller responded that same night, saying, “There is a car show happening tomorrow (Saturday) and they were moving in today and evidently some of them were practicing this afternoon.” 

He writes, “I apologize for the noise and impact that this show may have caused or may cause tomorrow. It is not what we thought it was and were unprepared for the noise those cars are making.”

Buller explains that the Lane Events Center had asked for a demonstration before booking the event, “but what we saw that day was not near as loud as what was heard this afternoon and it caught us by surprise as well.”

He writes, “I can tell you there is no plan to ever let this group come back. In addition, I have spoken with staff that we need to do a better job of understanding the events that are happening to better identify or mitigate any impacts.”

He concludes, “I do apologize for the mistake and impacts and we will try to do better next time.”

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