Amsterdam authorities propose new sound and location restrictions for festivals

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  • The legislation, which will likely come into effect in January of 2018, was devised by the mayor's office in dialogue with the Night Mayor foundation.
  • Amsterdam authorities propose new sound and location restrictions for festivals image
  • Amsterdam authorities will impose restrictions on electronic music festivals as part of a new outdoor and warehouse events policy. The new bill, which was passed last year and will likely come into effect in January of 2018, will include stricter sound restrictions that favour residents. As well as measuring volume levels onsite, readings will be taken at the front doors of houses located close to festival sites. To comply with the new regulations, promoters may have to invest in better quality soundsystems and consider new ways to set up speakers. They must also submit evidence in advance that proves they will not produce excessive noise. For its part, City Hall has agreed to invest resources into educating local technicians to ensure that the sound levels are properly measured. "All the promoters are happy with the results," Amsterdam's Night Mayor Mirik Milan told Resident Advisor. "It will cost them more money but they're happy that they don't have to stop [putting on events]." The new bill also impacts on the city's 82 outdoor event and warehouse locations, which will all be allowed to host at least three events per year. The 21 most high profile locations, which include NDSM Docklands and Museumplein, have been issued with tailor-made "location profiles" that will outline in detail how many and what kind of events can take place there. (The remaining 61 locations also have profiles, though of a more general nature.) According to Milan, this means permit applications should be a smoother experience for promoters. "At the start of the process the city asked us if the scene could do with 20 to 25% fewer festivals in the Amsterdam area," added Milan. "This was of course no option for us because it would kill a lot of boutique festivals that maybe only organize one or two events a year. Keeping the scene open to all operators big and small was our goal from the beginning." Work on the legislation began in May of 2016, with the Night Mayor foundation conducting a series of discussions with some of the city's top promoters. "The goal of the whole mediation process was to have less lawsuits against festivals," said Milan. "Almost every time a major festival takes place you have a lawsuit. Next year, the lawyers can look to these meetings and see that these issues were discussed and policies were agreed upon." Amsterdam authorities are also currently considering raising tourist taxes in an attempt to ease the strain on the city's residents.