Sound Policy

Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds
Sonoma County Event Center Sound Policies and Procedures for Interim Events
Approved November 22, 2016

Sound Levels:

1. Continuous Sound Pressure Levels may not measure in excess of 99dBA for outside amplified sound events and 104dBA for inside amplified sound events. Measurements must be taken using a calibrated Sound Pressure Level Meter set to slow response and the appropriate weighting. The meter shall be equipped with a Type-II microphone element. “Continuous Sound Pressure Levels” shall be defined as any level present for more than 15 seconds. Measurements may be taken anywhere in the rear quarter of the audience area. 

2. For inside events, the sound levels shall be averaged over a period of 60 minutes for performances that end by 10 p.m. For inside events that run later than 10 p.m., sound levels shall be averaged over a period of 30 minutes from and after 10:00 p.m. until the end of the performance. For each averaged period, at least 2 readings will be taken and recorded.

3. Measurements will be taken during the entire duration of the event.

4. Persons operating sound equipment during events will be expected to monitor sound levels and adhere to the above limit. 

5. Event Center management and or staff will also monitor and record sound levels.

6.  Should average measurements be found to be in excess of the described limits, the sound system operators will be immediately informed and required to reduce sound levels within 5 minutes. The time of notification will be logged by Event Center staff. Penalties may be assessed.

7. Once an event has exceeded the maximum levels stated, measurements will be taken and averaged over a 15 minute period. During the averaged period, at least 2 readings will be taken and recorded.

8. Event Center management will have the sole discretion to determine if sound levels need to be monitored at locations outside of the fairgrounds. The Licensee will be required to pay the costs associated with the additional monitoring efforts.

Time of Day and Duration Restrictions:  

1. Outside amplified sound (including sound checks) is permitted Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

2. Amplified sound will not run continuously for “a session” of more than 3 hours in length, per stage. Breaks between performances of 20 minutes will remedy this requirement. Should the Continuous Sound Pressure Levels never exceed 80dBA at any time, this requirement does not apply.

Penalty Schedule:

1. Time: For 0 to 10 minutes over the determined amplified sound end time, the penalty shall be $5,000. For time over the first 10 minutes, there shall be assessed a penalty of $5,000 for each additional five minutes beyond the first 10 minutes. In addition, the Event Center could refuse to allow the offending Licensee and/or act to use the facility in the future.

2. First Warning: A penalty of $1,000 can be charged for the first warning identified above.

3. Regardless of who violates these policies, the Licensee will be responsible for paying the penalties.

Neighborhood Communication Plan:

1. The Event Center will send a letter to neighbors annually inviting them to opt-in to a Constant Contact e-newsletter and will include this option permanently on the website. The purpose of the newsletter is to notify neighbors at least two weeks prior of an amplified sound event that is scheduled for the facility. 

2. During amplified sound events, the Licensee will be required to pay the Event Center to provide a staff member to monitor phone calls concerning the sound level or time requirements of the event. 

Affects from Weather Conditions:

1. Weather can often affect the sound flood zone. It is possible for the amplified sound from an event to be within the approved limits and still be heard by the community. When a considerable amount of complaints have been received by the community, Event Center staff will notify Licensee about these complaints and there is an expectation that the Licensee will adjust sound levels as much as possible to remedy this situation.

General Policies: 

1. Licensee will be required to share these policies with any acts and entertainers that will be performing.

2. Only upon approval of the Sonoma County Fair Board of Directors can these policies be amended or any consideration given.