It’s not all that rare for a concert to be loud – like really, really loud. Unlike many other types of events, a high volume is integral to a concert with many frequent goers making the argument that a concert that isn’t crazy loud isn’t all that much of a concert to begin with. Studies gaining traction recently have been those relating to hearing loss in those that regularly frequent concerts or other high-volume music events. As a venue organiser or a member of the audience you might find yourself wondering whether there is an imposed legal limit for volume at concerts and musical venues that has to be imposed in order to protect the hearing of those attending.
Why Impose a Legal Volume Limit?
Loud music is awesome and there are plenty of genres that can’t really be performed (or even listened to) when on low volume. Of course, due to this performer specialising in these genres always look to push the volume limit to give their set that much more ‘oomph’. Unfortunately, while this does make for a great audience experience, permanent damage to hearing happens quite quickly when exposed to sounds over a certain limit, a limit that is frequently crossed by performers. A legal volume limit would look to protect the hearing of those attending as well as any performers who might be standing even closer to the speakers.
Is There a Limit?
Even though there is no officially imposed limit to the volume at a concert, it is heavily recommended that organisers carry out due diligence and tests to ensure that the volume isn’t going to cause long-lasting damage. Any sound that is over 70 decibels can harm your hearing over prolonged periods while noises over 120 decibels can cause instant damage. It is heavily advised that there is no location in the audience that exceeds 107 decibels with no member of the audience being allowed within 3 metres of a speaker. Of course, the 107 is still within the volume range that can cause damage but only at longer periods of time which usually allows for the set to finish before anyone is permanently affected.
Overall, we can summarise that there is no legal limit for concerts, even though it is heavily recommended that the venue is comprehensively tested in multiple areas to ensure certain sections of audience aren’t negatively affected. While allowing people to enjoy performances of the highest quality without being hampered by volume, health does come first and it’s important to maintain one’s hearing over the long term. Concerts are a wonderful thing but without proper diligence being taken by the organisers and the attendees, they can certainly pose a threat.