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Listen Out To Get “A Lot Louder” After Melbourne Punters Slam “Awful” Sound

Boutique electronic festival Listen Out is promising to get “a lot louder” in Melbourne next year after local punters took to the festival’s Facebook page to slam the “awful” and quiet sound at this year’s event.

After hitting up Melbourn’s Catani Gardens in St Kilda on Saturday, 26th September, Listen Out was hit with a number of negative comments on Facebook, with ticket holders threatening to never return to the event because of this year’s lacklustre sound.

Since the complaints flooded in, Listen Out has issued a lengthy statement to one punter on Facebook, explaining that despite the festival’s sound systems having enough power to “launch a space shuttle”, sound restrictions at the event’s new Melbourne venue meant noise levels remained limited.

“Being the first time in a new venue, there are a number of factors which influence sound volume and can only be predicted to a degree before the event begins,” Listen Out posted.

“At Listen Out yesterday we kept the sound at the maximum it could be within all those constraints, which ended up between 98 & 110 dB at the mixing desks and louder in the dance floor areas close to the stages. While this is not quiet by everyday standards, we know you want the sound as loud as possible and naturally so do we.

“Now that we have a lot more knowledge about where and how sound at that venue is affected by all the constraints, we will be able to work with the council & our sound consultants to optimise limits, stage and speaker positions, sound baffling and lots of other adjustments.

“We’re confident that the sound at Listen Out Melbourne 2016 will be a lot louder.”

Listen Out’s name has been made fun of online by disgruntled Melbourne punters since the event, with one posting, “You call it Listen Out festival? The name was spot on because we defiantly [sic] had to listen out for the music.” Some ticket holders are demanding refunds over the sound issues, and a Facebook page calling for refunds has also been set up.

In her review of Melbourne’s Listen Out 2015 event, Music Feeds contributor Cyclone Wehner noted that the festival’s sound was muted at times, but it didn’t stop acts like Childish Gambino, Ryan Hemsworth and Rae Sremmurd from getting the crowd vibing.

Listen Out took place in Perth on Sunday, 27th September. There doesn’t appear to have been any sound problems in Perth, but footage has emerged of punters in that city failing to successfully gatecrash the event, before running from police.

Listen Out 2015 hits Sydney and Brisbane this weekend. Catch the festival’s full statement below, alongside reactions from people who were at the event’s Melbourne leg.

Gallery: Listen Out 2015, Melbourne / Photos: Michelle Pitiris

Listen Out Statement (Via Facebook)

It’s not simple but here goes: There weren’t power issues and the sound systems we use could launch a space shuttle. But being the first time in a new venue (and it’s a beautiful venue that no-one’s been allowed to use for a ticketed festival before), there are a number of factors which influence sound volume and can only be predicted to a degree before the event begins.

All outdoor events are required to comply with EPA sound rules about how loud it can be at nearby residences, and this is affected by complaints, wind direction, traffic and other noise, atmospheric conditions, topography of the surrounding area and so on. The constraints for ticketed events are more stringent than for most community events (like St Kilda festival).

At Listen Out yesterday we kept the sound at the maximum it could be within all those constraints, which ended up between 98 & 110 dB at the mixing desks and louder in the dance floor areas close to the stages. While this is not quiet by everyday standards, we know you want the sound as loud as possible and naturally so do we.

Now that we have a lot more knowledge about where and how sound at that venue is affected by all the constraints, we will be able to work with the council & our sound consultants to optimise limits, stage and speaker positions, sound baffling and lots of other adjustments. We’re confident that the sound at Listen Out Melbourne 2016 will be a lot louder.

Alright Listen Out, I've got nothing but love for this festival, as I've come every year for 6 years & Parklife before…

Posted by Amber Joan Sestokas on Saturday, 26 September 2015

Listen Out Festival today in Melbourne was a joke. You couldn't hear anything at any of the stages, it was all muffled…

Posted by Jon Stevens on Saturday, 26 September 2015

my macbook plays music louder than this festival, did you use a potato for the speakers

Posted by Lilli Rae Lovegrove on Sunday, 27 September 2015

You call it Listen Out festival? The name was spot on because we defiantly had to listen out for the music

Posted by Ash Denham on Sunday, 27 September 2015

Won't be returning unless you fix the sound quality next year. Sounded like someones phone speaker at the back of the…

Posted by David Minett on Saturday, 26 September 2015

Artist line up and crowd were top notch for Listen Out Melbourne yesterday. The same can not be said to sound levels. In…

Posted by Daniel A Leyton on Saturday, 26 September 2015

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