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Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act), the general environmental duty applies to the operation of entertainment venues and events. Venue managers and event organisers must reduce the risk of activities potentially harming the environment or human health. This is through pollution, including noise, or waste.

The Act says it’s an offence to make unreasonable noise or aggravated noise.

Noise and the Regulations

The Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (Part 5.3, Division 4) sets out what is unreasonable noise from entertainment venues and outdoor entertainment events. Music noise from entertainment venues or events is unreasonable if:

  • it exceeds the noise limits, or
  • is emitted without a permit that is required for the venue or event.

The Noise limit and assessment protocol for the control of noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises and entertainment venues (publication 1826) (Noise Protocol) sets noise limits for music noise from entertainment venues and events.

Aggravated noise is a serious offence and significant penalties apply. Music noise from entertainment venues is aggravated noise if it exceeds the noise limit by a certain amount.

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

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

When noise restrictions apply to indoor entertainment venues

No time restrictions are set for the operation of indoor entertainment venues. Instead, stricter noise limits apply during the night compared to the day and evening.

The night period starts at:

  • 11 pm Monday to Saturday
  • 10 pm on Sundays and public holidays when the next day is a not public holiday
  • 11 pm on Sundays or a public holiday when the next day is a public holiday.

Operating times for outdoor entertainment venue noise

An operation that involves music noise from an outdoor entertainment venue must:

  • start after 12 pm
  • finish by 11 pm.

Sound checks before an event are not normally included in the standard operating hours.

You may need a permit for an event at an outdoor entertainment venue.

Operating times for outdoor entertainment event noise

An outdoor entertainment event on public land must stay within the standard operating hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 7 am to 11 pm
  • Sunday and public holidays – 9 am to 11 pm.

You may need a permit for an outdoor entertainment event, including louder events or concerts, before 12 noon on any day.

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 31 August 2021