Music Events (Disco, live band, or similar)
Music events are those described in your booking conditions as music events and they are only accepted on days when most local residents won't be getting up for work next day, i.e. Fridays, Saturdays, and the night before a public holiday. Volume is not unduly restrictive during the evening but needs to be reasonable.
When loud music is being played, all the windows must remain completely closed.
Amplifiers should not be over-sized for the venue and it is suggested that you do not bring in equipment with an output of more than 500 watts - if you do you will be wasting money because the equipment will have to be turned well down.
The following are not permitted:
- A heavy bass beat. (Low-frequency noise penetrates through buildings more than other music)
- Repeated shouting into a microphone. Normal announcements and speeches are acceptable until 2300.
- The use of microphones for any purpose after 2300 (amplified speech is especially intrusive sound so no "good night" speeches after the event has finished at 2300)
- Karaoke performances
- The use of musical instruments or louspeakers outside or close to open doors or windows
- Electric guitars
We will give you guidance to help you comply with the hire agreement, so please ask if you are in doubt. A sound level meter is used by museum staff on the night. On the ground floor lower volume music only is acceptable because there is less sound insulation. The noise source cannot be close to the back doors unless these are to be closed to guests, in which case they will be unable to go outside.
The hire agreement requires you to obtain our written prior approval for amplified live music. This is because live music is less controllable than recorded music. As a rule of thumb a live band using amplifiers can not include more than four people in the band. Electric guitars are not permitted. (The term "electric guitar" includes all types of electric guitar including bass guitars). A live music agreement may stipulate some additional conditions. These are not hard-and-fast rules because we are prepared to consider any live music proposal but we have to be satisfied that it will not be a nuisance to our neighbours.
Recorded music is controllable and can continue to 2300 subject to the general noise control arrangements outlined here. You do not need special approval for recorded music if you have booked a music event.
Non-music events are those where the only music is background music which cannot be heard outside. Quiet background level music, over which normal conversation can be heard inside the building, is acceptable. Museum staff will monitor this by simply going outside to listen. If the music can be heard outside it must be turned down. In summer, clients are reminded that if the windows are open the volume has to be reduced further in order to comply with this requirement. It is not permitted to employ a DJ at non-music events. Live background music is permitted but requires our prior written approval. Classical ensembles such as string quartets or small bands using classical string or low-volume wind instruments (e.g. violin, oboe, flute, harp) are normally accepted. Dancing is not specifically prohibited but you should bear in mind that the volume desired for dancing is usually louder than is acceptable at a non-music event. Amplified singing is not permitted at this type of event.
A "Silent disco" counts as a non-music event as the music can only be heard by participants.
We ask clients to ensure that their guests are quiet when leaving the building late in the evening, and that they do not stand in the street outside after 2300 including whilst waiting for taxis etc. Guests may not go outside at the rear of the building after 2200.
We have hosted a large number of events that have followed this policy successfully. Numerous clients have had a great time without imposing their party on our neighbours. Please ensure that guests are aware of the need to respect local residents, in particular when leaving the premises late at night. Please note that there is a term in the agreement which allows us to terminate the event if the agreement is being broken - we hope this will never be necessary. If you are in doubt about the type of musical entertainment you intend to engage, please consult us.