On this page

The State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) (SEPP N-2) protects residents from music noise.

Councils and other agencies may also set restrictions on indoor and outdoor venue music noise levels.

For information about residential noise like stereos and musical instruments, see the residential noise page.

When noise restrictions apply to indoor venues

SEPP N-2 requires indoor music venues to keep noise levels at or below the noise limit for the operating time that applies to that venue.

SEPP N-2 does not set operating times for indoor venues.  As long as an indoor venue meets the noise limits, the venue will comply with the policy.

When noise restrictions apply to outdoor venues

SEPP N-2 requires outdoor music venues to:

  • stay within operating times for outdoor venue noise
  • keep noise levels below the noise limits. The limits are 65 dB(A) outdoors and 55 dB(A) indoors at nearby residential areas. Clauses 17 and 18 of SEPP N-2 explain this.

In Melbourne Docklands, there is an area where different limits apply. This is called a Scheduled Area. Venues in Docklands must limit noise to 45 dB(A) when measured inside a residence.

Operating times for outdoor venue noise

Events shorter than five hours must:

  • start after 12 pm
  • finish by 11 pm.

Events five hours or longer must:

  • start after 12 pm
  • finish by 10 pm.

You may need a permit for your outdoor event.

More about music noise from venues and events

About music noise 

Music noise: EPA's role

Measuring music noise

Outdoor event permits

Report music noise 

Noise and your health

Reviewed 26 November 2019