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Thread: Live outdoor music

  1. #1
    Cyburbian lilschmidty's avatar
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    Live outdoor music

    A local bar in town has submitted an application to amend its liquor license to permit live outdoor (amplified) music in an existing outdoor patio area (approximately 1,800 square feet) which is surrounded by a 6-foot wood privacy fence. The City Council asked that the Community Development Department explore sound deadening materials to absorb the sound within the fenced area. I'm not a sound engineer, but my guess is, unless you completely enclose the area, sound will escape through the area not enclosed by fencing. Adding sound dampening material to the fence, in my opinion, won't substantially absorb the sound.

    Have any of you dealt with bars that wanted outdoor amplified music and, if so, what did you do to help mitigate the noise level? We could look at limiting dB's to no more than the ambiant noise level, or to prohibit amplified music all together, however, I think the Council is looking for ways to absorb the sound within the fenced area.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Is the owner a Michigan Grad who lives in Chicago? See other thread!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian lilschmidty's avatar
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    I've tried searching other threads with similar topics, but can't find any. Do you have a link to the other thread?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    There is a very nice brew pub (nice meaning the quality of the beer) not far from my house and they have live music Thursday through Saturday nights in warm weather outside. But they are not in a residential area, so the issue of sound mitigation is not as significant.

    I'm not a sound engineer either, but do have a little experience. Sound deadening materials could do more than you might think, though obviously its not going to be silent. The trick, though, is that you have to dampen all hard surfaces. Even if you do the fence but there is an exterior wall of the building adjacent or even opposite the band stage, sound can bounce off of it and it could still be considerably loud. Sound bounces and travels in funny ways sometimes and objects you don't even think would be a problem can reflect noise to places you don't want it to go.

    I think overall you are correct. I am not sure the effort and expense of dampening the existing surrounding fence will significantly reduce the sound. Depending on how much of the space is enclosed, as you noted.

    But live music is great, so I hope it can be worked out!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lilschmidty View post
    I've tried searching other threads with similar topics, but can't find any. Do you have a link to the other thread?
    Right on the main page:

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...amp-a-tough-PC

    Gotta love current planning! Hopefully your noise ordinance is clear. Good luck.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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