AES Technical Document AESTD1007.1.20-05 Understanding and Managing Sound Exposure and Noise Pollution at Outdoor Events ( was recently published. 2+ years of very hard work went into this report. With a little luck, it’ll guide research and professional practice relating to live sound for many years to come.

This report is intended to present the current state of affairs surrounding the issue of outdoor event-related sound and noise. The two principal areas of investigation are sound exposure on-site and noise pollution off-site. These issues are different in nature and require distinct approaches to mitigate the associated negative short-term and long-term effects. The key message that is presented throughout this report is that the problems/ambiguities with current regulations are due to a lack of unbiased, scientifically-based research. It is possible to deliver acceptably high sound levels to audience members in a safe manner (minimizing risk of hearing damage) while also minimizing annoyance in local communities, where solutions to the on-site and off-site problems should begin with a well-informed sound system design. Only with a properly designed sound system can sound/noise regulations be realistically applied.

Huge thanks to all the report’s contributors: Chris Beale, Durand Begault, Jon Burton, Etienne Corteel, Christian Frick, Jim Griffiths, Marcel Kok, Michael Lawrence, Bob McCarthy, Johannes (Jos) Mulder, Kees Neervoort, Elena Shabalina, Andrew Wardle and to the Audio Engineering Society staff who helped whip the report into shape: Steve Hutt, Francis Rumsey, Rich Cabot, Kurt Graffy

If you have any comments/questions regarding the content of the report, drop me an email!