LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After receiving noise complaints from Hometown Rising and Bourbon & Beyond, producers at Danny Wimmer Presents are assuring the public that they have a plan in place for Louder Than Life this weekend.
Their sound team will be monitoring sound on-site as well as throughout the area to make sure the music doesn't get too loud. In a statement, the producers said the weather may have been to blame for how far sound traveled during Bourbon & Beyond.
"On Sunday, we saw the highest winds of our five festival days so far - and not coincidentally, that's when noise traveled furthest," said Danny Hayes with DWP.
That very well could be the case. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica and Sciencing magazine, people downwind from a sound source will experience louder noises than those upwind (or on a calm day) due to a process called "refraction".
In addition, the producers have self-imposed a 105-decibel limit for the concerts at Louder Than Life. So, what do 105 decibels sound like?
Here are some common noises and decibel levels for comparison:
The CDC puts common sounds into three categories: Green, Yellow, and Red.
Sounds in the green category are things like a ticking watch (20 dB) and a normal conversation (60 dB). Yellow sounds include a washing machine (70 dB) and city traffic from inside your car (80-85 dB). These sounds can be annoying if you’re trying to hear someone talking nearby, but they aren’t likely to lead to hearing damage.
Sounds in the red category put you at risk for hearing damage, especially if you are exposed to them for a long time. A running motorcycle (95 dB) and a sporting event like a football game (100 dB) are at the lower end of this category.
The maximum volume level for personal listening devices recommended by the CDC is around 105-110 dB. Bars and rock concerts also have the same decibel levels. The 105-dB limit at Louder Than Life falls within this category.
Being near louder sounds like sirens (120 dB) and firecrackers (140-150 dB) can cause pain and ear injuries.
If you’re attending an event like Louder Than Life and you’re worried about your hearing, consider bringing some earplugs and give your ear breaks away from the loud noises whenever you can.