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Indoor and outdoor venues must follow rules about music noise.
For information about residential noise like stereos and musical instruments, see the residential noise page.
What is music noise
Music noise includes music and other sounds, like singing or performing. This can be:
- live or recorded music
- voices, including the audience singing and announcements associated with the music
- other amplified sounds and sound effects that happen with music.
Music noise can impact some people’s health and wellbeing, especially when it affects the ability to sleep, or to undertake normal activities at home.
About indoor venues
Indoor venues are public places indoors playing music. They include:
- music venues
- health and fitness centres.
Music noise requirements for indoor venues
Noise from indoor venues can impact residents. The State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) (SEPP N-2) controls music noise from indoor venues.
SEPP N-2 sets noise limits for indoor venues based on the time of day and the background noise level at the point of measurement.
investigating officers make measurements at the noise sensitive area, such as a residence.
About outdoor venues
An outdoor venue is any public place playing music outside or in the open air.
- major outdoor sports and recreation facilities which would find it difficult to enclose or sound-proof the venue because of their size
- private land used for open-air events such as music festivals or concerts
- temporary structures such as marquees or sound stages on public land.
Music noise requirements for outdoor venues
There are requirements for outdoor venues and music noise. The State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) (SEPP N-2) sets rules for outdoor venue managers including:
- allowed times
- noise levels that apply
- how exemptions apply.
Where the music noise level is more than the noise limit, we can require venue managers to:
- take steps to reduce noise to – or below – the noise limit
- monitor the noise
- use stronger measures than generally required. This can apply if EPA considers the local conditions need this. It could also apply if the venue hasn't complied with requirements in the past.
You can report music noise from outdoor venues to your local council.
More about music noise from venues and events
Reviewed 13 May 2020