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How acoustic monitoring helps safeguard events

The key is to balance the needs of event organisers and residents

Regulatory bodies such as local councils are often perceived as obstacle enablers by some outdoor event planners: this perception is largely an incorrect one – an environmental health officer can in fact be an organiser’s greatest ally.

In many cases the help and advice offered will help considerably in the preparation for the event and to help ensure its success on a long-term basis.

National Guidance

Authorities frequently follow the National Guidance contained in the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts issued by the Noise Council. The guidance acknowledges that large music events give pleasure to hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. It’s purpose is “to give guidance on how… disturbance or annoyance can be minimised.”

The Health and Safety Executive

Guidance is also provided by the HSE. Their website provides helpful information regarding Your duties as an event organiser. The guidance acknowledges the need for technical expertise for the monitoring of potentially loud outdoor concerts.

“Unlike workers, there is no specific legislation setting noise limits for the audience exposure to noise. However, HSE strongly recommends that the A-weighted equivalent continuous sound level over the duration of the event (Event LAeq) in any part of the audience area should not exceed 107 dB, and the C-weighted peak sound pressure level should not exceed 140 dB.”

Authorities are impartial!

Appropriate technical expertise is therefore crucial when it comes to acoustic monitoring. Charnwood Borough Council, for example, work with organisers on the prestigious GlastonBudget event, described as “The world’s biggest and best tribute music festival.”

In a recent interview, Beverley Green, Environmental Protection Manager at Charnwood said that pre planning is crucial in order to balance the needs of the event organisers, the event goers – and local residents. And for larger events, the Council recommend consultation with acoustic monitoring experts, who are impartial and provide expertise that will enable the balance to be maintained.

Charnwood Borough Council provide event planners with a very helpful pre planning document Environmental protection noise control – outdoor events with music, which states

“For medium or large sized events advice should be obtained from a qualified noise consultant with knowledge and experience in the UK for the assessment and control of noise from music events.”

Beverley Green said “Impartial consultants provide benefits for all three key groups for an event such as GlastonBudget. They have the respect of event organisers and can help them achieve a great deal by way of, for example, frequency analysis and efficient sound management.

“The Council are aided by having access to high quality independent technical reporting, which enables them to effectively tweak and fine tune in line with both the Guidance and unique individual event circumstances. We can depend on the advice provided competent acoustic monitoring consultancies and it can be the most cost-effective way of gaining that expertise.

“And, importantly, it’s a considerable benefit to residents – a visible reassurance that impartial experts are at hand to help ensure that the event sound is being controlled at all times.”

Further information

Charnwood Borough Council »

Acoustic monitoring »