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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
Ward v. Rock Against Racism
Citation:491 U.S. 781 (1989)
In the southeast portion of New York City’s Central Park, about 10 blocks upward from the park’s beginning point at 59th street, there is an amphitheater and stage structure. The bandshell faces west across the remaining width of the park. In close proximity to the bandshell is a grassy open area, which the City has designated as a quiet area for passive recreations. The City attempted to regulate the volume of the amplified music at the bandshell so the performances are satisfactory to the audience without intruding upon those who use the grassy open area or live on the central park. The city’s regulation requires bandshell performers to use sound-amplification equipment and a sound technician provided by the city. The sound technician controls both the volume and the mix of sound. The challenge to this volume control technique came from the sponsor of a rock concert.
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