Noise limits in licensed venues

Licensed venues without entertainment are (in most cases) allowed a maximum noise limit of 75 decibels as measured approximately 3 metres from the source.

Some types of liquor licences may allow you to provide entertainment if you meet certain requirements, for example, ensuring the premises is sufficiently soundproofed to prevent unreasonable noise affecting nearby residents and businesses. Some venues, like nightclubs, are specifically licensed to provide entertainment.

Typical music volumes associated with common forms of entertainment are listed in the following table.



(decibels relative to the carrier)

Person talking normally at 1m

60-65 dB(C)

Piped restaurant music

65-75 dB(C)

Video disk background music

80-95 dB(C)


85-105 dB(C)

Other small bands

95-110 dB(C)

Small rock band

105-120 dB(C)

Increasing the noise levels allowed in your venue

Conditions that set the volume of entertainment or patron noise may be imposed when your licence is granted or varied, or because of substantiated noise complaints.

You must submit an acoustic report with your licence application if you want to:

  • conduct amplified entertainment above 75 decibels at a new premises
  • or
  • remove or vary a current condition that prohibits or limits amplified entertainment.

You must engage a qualified sound engineer or acoustic consultant to prepare the acoustic report. The report must comply with Guideline 51: Preparing an acoustic report.

Your licence condition will limit noise to the appropriate level that is indicated in the acoustic report.

The type of entertainment being provided is not a factor in deciding whether to impose a noise-related licence condition.

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