Noise from entertainment venues and outdoor festivals
Entertainment noise can be categorised into one of two types:
- Noise from the internal venue, such as a club or pub;
- Outdoor festival noise.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, a public entertainment premise and/or event is likely to require a licence of some kind in order to operate. This licence may include a noise condition in order to keep any disturbance to the general public at a minimum.
If noise levels go above those stated on the licence, a noise abatement notice under the Control & Pollution Act 1974 and/or the Environmental Act 1995 can be enforced by the local council.
Avoiding a noise abatement notice
To help you protect your licence and avoid a noise abatement notice being issued, we can:
- Assess noise emissions from your premises or event to the nearest residential property by:
- Conducting a noise survey around the existing or proposed venue;
- Creating a noise model, using the noise survey findings, to predict the likely noise emissions.
- Construct and agree a noise management plan which is:
- Approved by all those involved, including the venue management, event promoter and the local authority Licensing Officer or Environmental Health Officer;
- Reviewed and revised during the event planning and organising process, and during the event itself.
- Monitor noise levels:
- For an internal venue, by conducting a commissioning exercise to ensure that any acoustic treatments and enhancements are performing correctly, and/or any limiters are set up with the correct settings.
- For an outdoor festival, either on-site with a large team equipped with sound level meters or, with a smaller team equipped with remote noise monitoring stations at the nearest residential property (the noise sensitive receptor);
Ultimately, whatever the venue or type of event being held, our aim is to minimise the noise impact on the nearest residential area without unduly compromising audience satisfaction at the entertainment arena.
Frequency of an entertainment noise assessment
How often an entertainment noise assessment is required depends on the local authority. If, for example, the event is a regular event held over a few days, some local authorities will insist on a new noise assessment every year, others will only require the assessment to be reviewed annually and a new noise assessment conducted every 5 years.
Live Music Act 2012
Whilst the Live Music Act 2012 extends the range of live music performances that can take place without a licence, it does not exclude these venues from their obligations under the Control & Pollution Act 1974.
Just because you haven't got an enforceable licence, doesn't mean you are immune from a noise abatement notice!