Summer Ball Info for residents

The Summer Ball will take place on Sat 9th June between 7pm-5:30am. We have worked hard with the local licensing authorities to produce a plan to minimise the impact on local residents including the implementation of a Noise Hotline, production of a Operating Plan with a specific section on Noise Management, an external Sound Engineer being hired for the event and greater controls being in place.


Sound restrictions have been agreed with the Council SAG that from 2am onwards noise will be inaudible off site. Prior to 2am every effort will be made to control the impact on residents in the local area, and further details can be found in the section below titled "Noise Management Plan".


Noise Complaints on the night:

If you have an issue with Noise on the night please contact our Noise Hotline on 07470227839 or 07470227911 . If there is no answer please leave a message with your name, address and contact number. We may send someone to your area to take a reading. Following the Noise reading being taken we will adjust the sound at the Ball site if it is necessary.

Summer Ball 2018

Noise Control Management Plan


We have used the code of practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts produced by The Noise Council as reference to produce this document for the Summer Ball.


Controlling multiple sources of audio over a large area with many different and unpredictable elements at play is not an exact science. Because audio is affected so greatly by pressure, moisture in the air, the ground it travels over, wind speed, direction, audience numbers, location, temperature etc. we have put in place this plan to monitor and manage the levels on and off site to minimise disruption to the local area.


Designated Noise Manager

A qualified experienced individual will be appointed as a Designated Noise Manager. It will be their responsibility to ensure that the Noise Management Plan is carried out in line with agreed upon procedures. In addition to this they will have a team able to conduct noise readings on and offsite where necessary


Audio Running Times

1400 - 1600 Sound checks

1900 - 0500 Live and recorded music in all tents. Headphone disco starting at 1am in Main Tent. Reduction in sound from 1am onwards in all other tents. 

0500 Site silent



Decibel readings prior to the show will be taken on and around the site. This will give us our base level reading to show us what impact the event is having once running.



Audio levels will be limited 98Db at all control points across site during main stage show hours. After 2am we aim to be inaudible off site.



Sound Monitoring Location

Type of Reading


When Taken

FOH Mixer (25m out from Stage)

Laeq 15 Minute



Stage/Crowd Barriers

MNL 1 Minute

105 DB

Every Act changeover

Noise Sensitive Locations

MNL 15 Minute







The monitoring of noise will take place during:

  • The proposed licensed hours of the Summer Ball (19:00 – 05:00 on Saturday 9th June 2017)
  • Sound propagation tests / sound checks on the Friday preceding the event (proposed 16:30 – 17:30)
  • Saturday morning – first line checks (proposed 12:00 – 16:00)


Most of the noise will be generated by the sound systems associated with the main stage – both FOH and stage monitors (used by the performers).


Monitoring of noise from the licensed site will be undertaken by multiple sound level monitoring devices and take place at the following locations:

  • FOH mixer position
  • Noise sensitive location(s) outside of the licensed site – to be confirmed with Colchester Council


All sound level meters used will comply with type 2, or better, of BS6698.


FOH Mixer Position

There will be a fixed sound level monitoring device at the FOH mixer position which the FOH Engineers will use to ensure that agreed limits are not exceeded. It is assumed that the dB reference point at this location will be set during the sound propagation tests / sound checks


Noise Sensitive Locations:

These will be agreed 60 days prior to the event with Colchester Licensing team. They will likely include areas which have previously raised complaints about noise levels. Residential areas in Greenstead, Wivenhoe and Old Heath will be considered as Noise Sensitive locations. For noise sensitive locations, the designated Noise Monitoring Manager will only measure and record sound levels (the Music Noise Level – MNL) arising from the licensed site. Ambient background level readings (Background Noise Level) will be taken before the event, documented and their levels factored in for the purpose of noise monitoring and management of Summer Ball.



Pre event communication:


In advance of the Event date The SU will take out an appropriately sized advert in local papers to inform local residents of the event taking place. The adverts will carry operating times of the Event and will carry a number that can be contacted on the night of the event to discuss any noise complaints. Details of the event will also be placed on local internet forums such as and other appropriate Facebook groups. Students living on campus in closer proximity will be contacted via a direct mail out.

There will also be details of the event and contact details on the Essex SU social media and website.


We believe making residents aware of what's going on empowers them in that they have some sort of control should they feel they are being unduly disturbed.



Knight International will install adequate sound systems in line with the requirements of the event attendance and entertainment requirements. The Main tent sound system will be monitored and run by a Knight International Sound Engineer. The additional sound systems in each area will remain under the control of the trained Technical Manager and their crew.

The PA systems shall be installed in good time to allow propagation tests, enabling proper alignment and orientation to minimise noise disturbance.


Noise Hotline

We will install a noise hotline and publicise the number so that members of the public can report any noise issues directly to the site management. All calls will be logged by time, location (if given on request), and a contact number and address will be requested. The log will be kept in the Licensing Compliance Office. All calls to the hotline will be reported to the site manager who will have teams both on and off site to monitor noise. A qualified member of the site team will travel to any relevant premises of any local resident who makes a noise complaint and gives the location to test the levels at that point. The results of the tests and any action taken will be recorded in the noise log. The log will be available at all times for inspection and will be kept in the site office. The noise hotline will be operational throughout the hours of regulated entertainment.


Upon Receiving a Complaint

Should there be a complaint the off-site engineer will respond immediately by going to the location and taking a reading. If remedial action is possible then and there, removing frequencies, lowering the level for a DJ, etc. it will be advised to site and action taken via the Event management team. Should the engineer find the disturbance is low level they may decide no action is necessary. Either way the engineer will attempt to meet the complainant and allay any concerns then and there making them aware we are constantly monitoring and adjusting the systems on site to cause least disturbance off site.

Although the use of A-Weighted meters are convenient for measuring MNL there may be a need for a spectrum analyser as disturbance often arises from the imbalance of frequencies particularly the bass frequencies at a distance from the event. The Noise Council Code of Noise at Concerts gives no precise guidance but states that a level of 70db in the 63Hz and 125Hz octave is satisfactory. This information may allow the Event Management Team to make an informed decision on how to reduce the disturbance.


Public Leaving the Event

Public will be reminded by stewards to leave the site and to respect our neighbours.


The Event Management Team will work with Colchester Council, and the local authorities, to ensure effective communications at all times and to enable our Designated Noise Manager to react quickly to any breach of agreed levels. This plan will be developed with Colchester Council