The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is operated by Arts Centre Melbourne, and is used as a venue for a wide range of live outdoor events, including the annual Carols by Candlelight, concerts by international artist (e.g. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Neil Young, Tool, Kanye West), and festival events such as Summerdayze. Events tend to occur in a set season, during the summer months, between October - April.
These events usually use large specialist sound systems to provide amplified music. This music has the potential to break-out of the venue and cause disturbance at nearby noise sensitive receivers, including residences.
Arts Centre Melbourne has implemented a Noise Management Plan (NMP) for the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The NMP is designed to assist Arts Centre Melbourne to manage noise from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and meet the requirements of the State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) No. N-2 (SEPP N-2).
As part of the NMP, local residents are able to view the event schedule here. A complaints hotline is available during events. The number is (03) 9281 8510.
The individual concerts and events in the schedule shall be classified by Arts Centre Melbourne as either 'red' or 'green', based on their potential to result in annoyance and the SEPP N-2 definition of a 'concert' which states;
'Concert' means any operation of an outdoor venue where the effective noise level exceeds 55 dB(A) (or 45 dB(A) if measured indoors) at any measurement point in a noise sensitive area.
Red Events are events that have been categorised as having potential to impact on noise levels. These events typically include: dance, festival and rock type concerts. Required actions for Red Events include:
- Independent noise monitoring and noise control by a qualified acoustic consultant (contracted by Arts Centre Melbourne) and detailed reporting for the entire event.
- Noise monitoring at pre-determined noise sensitive locations including the rooftop of the Melbournian Apartments, and any additional locations that may become necessary based on the ambient conditions and complaints encountered. 15-minute LAeq Music noise levels (in accordance with SEPP N-2) shall be monitored continuously throughout the event, if practical, or at least once per hour as a minimum.
- Investigation of noise related complaints by the independent acoustic consultant.
- Direct phone, radio or email contact between the acoustic consultant and the production manager/event coordinator, sound engineers, event organiser and the complaint hotline throughout the event.
- Implementation of procedures to allow for the timely reduction of music noise levels. The production manager/event coordinator shall ensure that sound engineers reduce music levels when instructed.
- Sound level testing prior to the event, where practicable.
- Limitations on ground stacked speakers for additional stages.
Green Events are events that have previously been measured to, or are expected to result in, noise levels less than 55 dB(A) at the nearest affected residents, or have a history of not generating noise complaints.
Actions for Green Events are as follows:
- Arts Centre Melbourne shall conduct sample self-monitoring and implement controls where breaches of 55 dBLAeq at the nearest sensitive receiver are identified.
- Self-monitoring shall take place on at least two occasions during an event.
- The event shall be upgraded to a Red Event if music levels continue to exceed pre- determined limits and Red Event actions shall then be followed.