Organisation of events: new rules to limit noise pollution

Organisation of events: new rules to limit noise pollution

Are you a concert organiser, events manager or horeca operator? As a professional, you need to consider the disturbances caused by playing amplified music. In early 2017, the Brussels government adopted new rules which will enter into force in February 2018.   

New rules

From 2018, the following rules will apply:

General rule: the maximum level of amplified sound is 85dB.

However, there are two exceptions:

  • The volume may reach a maximum of 95dB(A)provided that the following conditions are met:
    • Obligation for the organiser to inform the public of the risks of sound levels disseminated;
    • Obligation to display the sound level in real time.
  • The volume may reach a maximum of 100 dB(A), which corresponds to the maximum authorised by the WHO if the following conditions, as well as those set out above, are met:
    • Provision of hearing protection (earplugs) and an auditory rest zone for the public (max. 85 dB);
    • Appointment of someone in charge of compliance with these conditions.

For levels reaching 95 or 100 dB(A), the organiser must also provide measurement tools to properly assess the sound pressure, particularly at low frequencies. Records of the sound levels disseminated will be mandatory.

Does the organiser need authorisation?

Organisers of events or shows currently require a class 2 environmental permit to perform their activity.

From February 2018, other types of establishments will also be affected because the regulations now state that if the amplified sound is disseminated after midnight, the organiser must have a class 3 environmental permit and declare this to the municipal administration.

Tools to help you comply by 2018

In order to help affected organisers comply with this regulation, Bruxelles Environnement will develop the following tools in 2017 and 2018:

  • A purchase comparison system to acquire the equipment at the best prices.
  • Information sessions, detailed web guides, information leaflets.
  • Training for the compliance manager (the person responsible for compliance with the "sound" regulations within the establishment).

In addition, financial support is available for establishments who agree to provide their sound levels in real time to offer additional visibility (publication of playlists, useful information on the establishment, etc.).

For more information, and if you need help with environmental permits, don't hesitate to contact the environmental and planning department. They can provide you with free help with these matters. 02/422 51 29 or

Source: Bruxelles Environnement (FR)

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