09. Noise
October 15, 2014

9.1 Guidance on sound levels at outdoor concerts is contained in the Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Pop Concerts and Similar Events. 1

9.2 A major factor associated with pop concerts is the high level of sound emitted during performances or rehearsals. This sound can cause problems for patrons, those working at the concert and people in the surrounding area. It is, therefore, necessary to control this noise level. In considering noise levels regard should be had to the fact that pop concerts in outdoor venues take place at irregular intervals and are unlikely to be held at the same venue more than three times annually. If more frequent concerts take place, different standards may apply.

9.3 The duration of the concert must be considered when determining noise levels and noise levels affecting employees, patrons and surrounding areas must be taken into consideration. A specified maximum noise level should be determined at the boundary of the site by the Promoter in agreement with the Health Board.

9.4 Suitable noise measuring meters should be provided in positions agreed with the Health Board. The sound level meter should comply with the provisions of BS 5969:1981. 2 and be available for inspection at all times.

9.5 The Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992, 3 contains provisions dealing with controls on noise. Account should be taken of these and of the Environment Protection Act, 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994. 4
Regulations controlling sources of noise and specifying noise limit standards are planned and, when made should also be taken into account.

9.6 In the case of employees regard must be taken of the terms of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989. 5
It is recommended that a system of rotation of duties should be introduced to protect staff from high noise levels in certain locations.


1. Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Pop Concerts and Similar Events, HMSO, London, 1993.
2. BS 5969:1981, Specification for sound level meters, British Standards Institution, London.
3. Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992, Stationery Office, Dublin.
4. Environmental Protection Act, 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994, Stationery Office, Dublin.
5. Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, and associated Regulations, Stationery Office, Dublin.


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