Holding A Music Event? Read This….


We all know that a noisy pub disco or karaoke is a sure-fire way of ending up before the licensing committee following complaints by residents or the environmental health officer. There will always be tensions between the rights of licensees to give their customers a good time and the rights of local residents not be unduly disturbed by noise.

Here a few pointers that you should bear in mind if you are planning on having a music event :

  • Decide what is an acceptable level of noise that can be heard outside the pub. This depends on many factors, including the tolerance of your neighbors, whether you are in a noisy urban area or out in the country, the views of any enforcement officials and any conditions on your licence. The best way to test it is to carry out noise patrols yourself from outside the premises.
  • Once you have decided a reasonable music level, control it. This may be by way of a noise limiter or simply by using an in-house system controlled by you rather than your DJ, karaoke singer or live band.
  • Think about your speakers – often more speakers doted around the premises set at a lower level serve the same purpose as one large speaker, but cause less noise. Avoid external speakers.
  • Direct your speakers away from weak points in the pub and or ‘party walls’.
  • Be aware of the bass volume – the frequency that leads to most complaints. Have equipment that can reduce this if necessary.
  • Windows and doors – try to keep them closed if at all possible. In the summer this may be difficult, but if noise is a real problem, consider construction ‘acoustic lobbies’ of two sets of doors.
  • Adhere strictly to the times you are licensed to play music. Neighbours get very annoyed when the music plays for 10 minutes longer than you are permitted.
  • Try to maintain a good relationship with your neighbours. Notify them of any special events and arrange regular meetings so they can air their views. I t is better to have a neighbour vent his/her views to you over a coffee than to be doing so by filling a review application.
  • Consider using acoustic absorbent ties on weak points such as ceilings or fire doors.
  • ‘Vibration isolation mounts’ attached to speakers and prevent noise entering the structure of your pub.
  • Erect signage reminding customers of the need to reminding customers of the need to respect local neighbours’ rights not to be disturbed.
  • Provide a telephone hotline that neighbors can call in the event of a problem.
  • Have a ‘wind-down’ phase towards the end of the evening. Among other things, this will prevent “temporary threshold shift” – the condition that affects people who have been to noisy gigs and causes them to talk more loudly once they have departed the venue.
  • Take some advice from your local environmental health officer if necessary.
  • Get yourself prepared with a noise management policy.
  • Remember to seek appropriate permissions via planning, the fire authority or indeed licensing if you make any structural or other necessary changes to reduce noise outbreak.


Most importantly, try to avoid a ‘them and us’ situation with your neighbors. If you get to the point where that constant complainer has started drinking in your pub or club, then you know you are heading in the right direction. Or you could hold a music event every night with out all the hassle/problems about! With a pub digital jukebox you are in full control of the music style and volume at all times. Also with the added benefit that we can install a digital jukebox free of charge and with no costs on going this is a great way to entertain you’re customers and create extra profit for you. To find out more give the comrie team a call on 024 76249070

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