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
Piped restaurant music
Video disk background music
Other small bands
Small rock band
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
- 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.
- Read Guideline 16: Control of entertainment noise.
- Read tips for controlling noise in licensed venues.
- Access printable compliance signage for licensed venues.
- Read about patron and staff safety on licensed premises.
- Take our complying with noise requirements for licensed venues refresher and test your knowledge with the quiz.
- Last reviewed: 1 Sep 2022
- Last updated: 1 Sep 2022
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