Noise from music at events held in the open air or marquees

We support entertainment and cultural events within the community that include music. However, we are also keen to ensure that an appropriate balance is achieved between the organisers’ objectives, an attendee’s enjoyment of such events and the interests of the community at large, who may be affected by such functions.

Our approach in respect of controlling noise from outdoor events is essentially one based on active engagement with our Environmental Protection Team at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the potential for noise disturbance is minimised.

This information is aimed at anyone planning or hosting an outdoor event and owners of land where outdoor events may take place. These events can include private weddings, celebrations involving music, sporting events and private parties.

The licensing regime deals with live or recorded music where a charge is made and further information on whether or not your activity needs to be licensed can be found at Even if your event is licensed, you are not allowed to cause a noise nuisance to local residents. Regardless of whether or not your event is licensable, you do need to consider the likely impact of noise on your neighbours, particularly if you intend finishing later than 11pm, when most people are in bed and expecting to sleep. The following are reasonable measures to follow to ensure that you do not cause a Statutory Noise Nuisance.

  • Before the event has started request that noise levels are tested beforehand so it is clear to the person in charge of the music what noise levels are acceptable and are not audible outside the premise.

  • Ensure doors and windows are kept closed when live or recorded music is being played.

  • Review the location, direction and number of speakers. For example, try to keep speakers away from doors and windows, and face away from any noise sensitive premises.

  • Reduce the bass levels of the music.

  • Undertake listening checks at the perimeter of the event. Noise from your event should be inaudible at the nearest noise sensitive premises, especially after 11pm. Please bear in mind that the hearing of someone who has been inside the building may have been affected by raised noise levels, making the noise outside seem quieter.

  • After 11pm, request that entertainment is reduced to background noise level.

  • Inform the DJ / musicians / performers of potential noise issues and controls that need to be in place.

  • Consider reducing the volume and/or playing slower, mellower music as the event draws to a close. This can help quieten people down before they leave.

  • Post notices close to exit doors advising that there are residential properties nearby and asking patrons to leave quickly and quietly.

  • Systems should be in place to ensure bottles/cans are not being emptied into external bins late at night or early in the morning.

  • Advise any properties that may be affected by the event of the following details as a minimum:

    • A description of the event detailing what is going to happen
    • The date of the event
    • The event start and end times
    • A contact telephone number in case they need to discuss the event, or contact during the event.

Whilst this list is not exhaustive, if a complaint is made to the Council and officers find a Statutory Noise Nuisance, a notice immediately ceasing the music can be made, noise - making equipment seized and prosecution taken undertaken against the organisers and/or landowner as appropriate.