Sound Safety in Live Music Venues: How Loud is Too Loud?

Posted on: March 4, 2020 by RMS Hospitality

Some concertgoers love it when their favorite band turns their speakers up to 11, causing a pulse to go through the music venue. But for some people, high sound levels can present a major risk. This is because of the effect that high volume may have on hearing and because of the high levels of vibration that can end up causing or intensifying a number of risks, which is why sound safety is so important.

Since the Health and Safety Act of 1974 was enacted and the Noise at Work Regulations were set in 2005, employers and event organizers have had to abide by a set of rules to keep everyone from attendees, musicians and staff safe from the harm of high levels of volume at a music venue. Sound and vibration levels should be monitored throughout rehearsal, along with sound check and performances to make sure that full control is kept steady and adjustments can be made in order to ensure safety and health.

Trauma and Insurance

For some people, their hearing may already be at risk of injury due to sensitivity. But even with good working ears, high levels of sound can end up damaging anyone in the surrounding area of a concert. Acoustic trauma can have major negative effects over time and end up causing hearing loss. For those who suffer hearing loss at a single concert they can harken back to, they can pinpoint their problems back to the location at which the injury happened.

This is why music venues need to not only be aware of the safety of their concert attendees but also protect their operations with effective music venue insurance. This kind of coverage can help protect locations and event organizing companies from major claims related to acoustic trauma. And even if someone doesn’t garner an injury to their hearing or ears, they can still suffer other injuries related to high levels of noise, such as bottles and objects falling due to the vibration of speakers.

Having music venue insurance can help to provide the resources needed for defense costs and payouts to those who suffer any injury.

The Correct Level of Sound and Keeping People Safe

The correct level of sound depends on a number of variables. Music venues will want to make sure the music is loud enough to where people are enjoying it and are feeling the music, but not so loud to make people uncomfortable. The goal should be to get every corner and edge of the music venue to be hearing the same level of music.

Music venues can arrange speakers around their auditorium so that people are getting a relatively level performance from the band onstage.

Speakers should also be raised as high as is safely possible. This will allow the sound to go straight to the ears of the people in the crowd and keep the closest attendee as far away from the speakers as possible.

Music venues should use a single source for low frequencies. Unless they have a big room or venue to cover and can use delays to put speakers in the right alignment, venues should try taking multiple subs and putting them in a single location.

Another way that venues can achieve great sound while also keeping people safe is to mix from the position that the majority of the audience will be standing in. Traditionally, bands will want to mix from the side of the stage, but putting the mixer in the same position that the audience will be in will give a good idea as to what everyone will be hearing and experiencing.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

Posted in: Live Music Venue

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