It’s no surprise noise restrictions and complaints are one of the biggest bones of contention between gig promoters/punters, and venues/legal eagles.
Usually, though, the music is too loud.
The iconic Sydney Opera House Forecourt – the site of such events as Crowded House, Oprah Winfrey, Jamiroquai and Sting – is under fire as an unsuitable live music venue after recent gigs.
Complaints of flooded social media when Tame Impala performed there, with one tweeting, “Listen to the crowd! The music isn’t anywhere to be heard,” to which the Opera House replied, “The sound has been turned up.”
The band’s sound engineer, Adam Round, told CX Mag it wasn’t.
“You can’t go over the limit or they threatened to step in and take control of our show,” he said.
“If they let you go over it jeopardizes their ability to do any shows there. It’s a real shame as it’s such a beautiful spot. We tried every trick in the book and added extra front fill. Still would’ve only been louder if you were at the front. All of our subs were in cardioid but we ended up having to pretty much turn them off.”
Adam was given a noise limit of 89dB peak (5dB more at the weekend), a level he believes is “an unacceptable level for rock and roll.”
According to it’s own rules, the Forecourt is not an appropriate venue for live music.
The venue handbook (Sept 2015) states that noise levels must not exceed 65dB – the volume of a conversation – when measured one metre from the adjacent apartment building at any time except Friday or Saturday, when the level rises to 70dB. Unless of course the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure or the Opera House is “experiencing noise levels that exceed the mandatory noise limits,” at which point the noise level is reduced to 60-65dB.
Here’s a little noise level comparison for you:
Breathing – 10dB
Whispering in library from distance of 6′ – 30dB
Telephone dial tone – 80dB
City traffic inside car – 85dB
Hand drill – 98dB
Lawn mower – 107dB
Loud rock concert – 115dB
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