THE GOTHOOM heavy metal music festival took place on August 13-16 in Nová Baňa, a town in Banská Bystrica Region, without any major incidents. While the organisers are pleased with how the event turned out, some of the inhabitants who had criticised the concerts and called for it to be cancelled say it was too loud.

The festival’s organiser, Peter Beťko, said they met all the requirements agreed upon before the festival. The concerts ended at 0:30, and on August 13 they finished even earlier because of a storm. Beťko also praised the charity fundraiser that took place alongside the festival, the TASR newswire wrote.

Some inhabitants of Nová Baňa, however, complained that the music was too loud. They turned to the regional office of the Public Health Authority in Žiar nad Hronom, which confirmed that the volume of the performances significantly exceeded the permitted decibel level, as reported by TASR.

Some people also complained about traffic problems.

The Nová Baňa town hall and the local police received altogether three motions submitted by one person (two concerning parking and one over the timing of the end of the festival), and one submitted by a group of citizens complaining about the volume level, Ľudmila Rajnohová from the town hall confirmed to TASR.

Gothoom made headlines after Christian activists and a local church called for its cancellation, saying that the lyrics of the bands scheduled to perform violate religious beliefs and advocate violence. They also complained about the noise. The organisers, however, denied any accusations and had already taken steps to meet the new requirements. For example, they moved the festival to the other side of a lake in order to reduce the noise that reaches the rest of the town, and planned for the performances to end at 0:30 instead of 3:00.

The whole festival was monitored by the police and the prosecutor’s office. They analysed the lyrics of the scheduled acts, saying they would interfere if any of them violated the law or human rights, the MY Noviny Žiarskej kotliny regional weekly reported on August 19.

Petra Kováčiková, spokesperson for the Banská Bystrica regional police headquarters, said on August 17 that the patrols did not intervene during the festival, MY Noviny Žiarskej kotliny wrote.