With the number of amplified music events ramping up again post-pandemic, it is important to ensure there are appropriate measures in place to manage noise. Where people have moved during the pandemic, noise associated with reinstated events can lead to complaints where residents are not accustomed to the established pre-pandemic noise climate. Therefore, it is essential to demonstrate compliance with licence requirements to minimise the likelihood of complaints and possess quantitative evidence of compliance if needed.
We were delighted to continue our involvement with Witcombe Festival and offer our noise management and monitoring services for their 2022 event held over the bank holiday weekend between the 26th and 28th August.
Having begun our professional relationship with Witcombe Festival in 2017 at their old Painswick Road site, we have also previously successfully overseen the festival’s inaugural event at the current Brockworth Road site in 2018 and their return post-pandemic in 2021.
A hybrid approach of attended and remote monitoring was implemented for the 2022 event. Noise monitoring equipment was installed in the new Perrybrook development in Brockworth. The equipment comprised a Class 1 NTi Audio sound level meter and an NTi Netbox containing a data sim card allowing for remote access of the measured data. The benefit of this method of noise monitoring is that our consultants had live access to 1 second, 5-minute and 15-minute data at the sensitive location and alerts could be sent to warn when limits were close to being exceeded. Access this to this data helps to pre-empt any potential exceedances of noise limits and allows for quick action when required.
We liaised closely with the sound engineers at the Main Stage and Big Top tent to control the propagation of amplified music noise from the festival site. Following careful calibration of the “front of house” limits during the sound checks, satisfactory noise levels were achieved across the festival site whilst the off-site limits at the dwellings were comfortably met throughout the entire event.
Attended monitoring was also carried out on the first night of the event, before we met with Environmental Health on the festival’s behalf to discuss and evaluate compliance with the licence requirements post 11pm, which are written in a manner that is subjective and not quantifiable. The outcome of the meeting was positive and Environmental Health were content that the requirements of the festival’s night-time licence condition were satisfied.
With the long-awaited update of the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control for Outdoor Events expected to be published in the near future, and following the successful management of Witcombe Festival 2022, Acoustic Consultants Ltd are confident that the noise management of future events at Witcombe and other similar festivals can be equally, if not more successful.
Dean Street, Bristol
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