Purpose of this guide
The Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) and its subordinate legislation details the requirements for individuals and businesses who are planning musical entertainment at an outdoor entertainment venue or event.
Under the Environment Protection Regulations (Regulations), a permit from EPA is required where a duty holder of an outdoor entertainment venue or event wishes to:
- hold an operation outside the standard operating hours, or
- extend an operation or concert beyond eight hours, or
- hold a concert at certain times, or
- conduct more than six concerts in a financial year.
A duty holder includes a business that wants to hold outdoor music events (including multi-day music festivals) and individuals in the community who want to hold outdoor events such as a local community event, where music is played.
This guideline focuses on music noise from outdoor entertainment venues and events that may occur. It is intended for businesses and individuals and other duty holders to assist in understanding EPA’s permit requirements for outdoor entertainment venues and events, and what information is required to be submitted with an application.
Other noise emissions from outdoor entertainment venues and events, such as noise from mechanical plant, refrigeration systems and kitchens, are subject to the requirements that apply to commercial, industrial and trade premises, as defined in Part 5.3 of Division 3 of the Regulations.
Noise from patrons at entertainment venues is only subject to the Regulations when it is associated with the music sources for example, patrons singing along with the music, or DJ announcements. Nevertheless, patron noise also needs to be managed as required, for example in planning permits and liquor licenses, and in relevant guidelines.
This guideline provides an overview of what can trigger a requirement for an EPA permit, application requirements and EPA’s decision-making criteria.
EPA guidance does not impose compliance obligations. Guidance is designed to help duty holders understand their obligations under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and subordinate instruments, including by providing examples of approaches to compliance. In doing so, guidance may refer to, restate, or clarify EPA’s approach to statutory obligations in general terms. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on as a statement of the law. Because it has broad application, it may contain generalisations that are not applicable to you or your particular circumstances.
You should obtain professional advice or contact EPA if you have specific concerns. EPA has made every reasonable effort to provide current and accurate information, but does not make any guarantees regarding the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information.
Give feedback about this publication online: epa.vic.gov.au/publication-feedback
Reviewed 1 March 2023