Adelaide To Enforce New Noise Restrictions For “High-Risk” Events

Festival organisers in Adelaide may now be forced to install special sound monitors that pull the plug on them if noise limits are exceeded. Adelaide City councillors met on Tuesday night and voted to impose the monitors on “high risk” festivals and concerts liable to breach noise-pollution levels.

News Limited reports council members will be able to impose the so-called “sound pressure level limiters,” which cut power if noise exceeds a certain level, usually 110 decibels, at their discretion. Councillor David Plumridge, who initiated the reform, called it another “weapon in our armoury.”

Mr Plumridge also reportedly called to increase the bond for exceeding noise limits to $40,000, but this measure was rejected and the bond will now be cut to just $5,000. The councillor’s sound monitor initiative follows a previous row with Soundwave organisers and the Adelaide City Council.

As Music Feeds reported in April, Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah forfeited a $10,000 bond after it was found that the Adelaide event in Bonython Park exceeded noise restrictions. Council monitoring allegedly revealed one stage exceeded 110dB for 70 percent of the day and evening.

Though the Adelaide City Council claimed that they received a number of complaints from residents of North Adelaide and other city-adjacent areas, Maddah insisted via Twitter that the “numerous complaints” reported by the council were in fact the result of “one guy in North Adelaide.”

At the time, Maddah said he feared that organisers would be denied hire of Bonython Park, which would mean “adios Adelaide.” The organiser recently confirmed that Soundwave would return to Adelaide in 2015, launching in Bonython Park next February with the event’s new two-day format.

The sound monitor initiative is the latest chapter in the fraught history of SW’s relationship with Adelaide. However, despite Mr Plumridge’s satisfaction with the outcome of the vote, some councillors have criticised the move as petty and potentially detrimental to Adelaide’s cultural scene.

Gallery: Soundwave 2014 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne 28/02/2014

Photos by Nikki Williams

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