Sat 11 Jan 2020 10:32AM

The Sound of Music - Proposals

PAK Paul aka Khromo Public Seen by 174


Less loud music hours this year but no silent Burn. (comment)

Data gathered:
- responses on Facebook:
- Census results

Impact on location:
none. We cannot have ANY electronic music at Freiland if we want to have it on the same date. We could make sound if we move the date.

Background information

As most of you probably know, I started a thread on Facebook in order to gauge opinions among burners as to the idea of having Kiezburn at the same venue, same date but with stronger sound restrictions to counter the number of complaints from neighbours.

While I admit the thread was by no means exhaustive, there did seem to be a lot of support for a quieter burn. From my point of view, two interesting issues arose:
1) The neighbours are not the only ones who have issues with consistent loud electronic music. A lot of burners also seemed to be in favour of a quieter burn.
2) A quieter burn does not necessarily mean a reduction in sound levels or permitted volume, but more a reduction in the number of hours where loud music can be played.

As a result of this, I’m making two proposals:
1) Instead of a sound curfew, have set hours where loud music CAN be played, but leave the permitted decibel levels the same. Something along the lines of 5pm to midnight/1am on weekdays, and 3am/4am on weekends. Maybe with no restrictions on the last night (exact hours would depend on negotiations with the Amt, obviously). If music volume is the same, neighbours are less likely to complain about loud music at say 11pm on Friday night than they would at 3am Wednesday morning when they have to be up for work in four or five hours . Let’s be honest – that would piss most people off!
2) Strict enforcement of the rules. If the music has to be off at 1am, then – maybe with a grace period of 5-10 mins, if needs to be off at that time. While burners know an extra quarter of an hour or so isn’t a problem and will be patient, the neighbours won’t. If we’re still going 15-30 mins after knock-off time, they could well get the idea that we’re lying to them and still intending to crack on until 6am. If they make a call at 1.20 when we’ve said we’ll stop at 1am, it’s not going to look good.
Burners know about the concept of “Playa Time”, the neighbours don’t!

I fully accept that the thread on Facebook isn’t representative - a lot of the sound camps were ironically silent on the issue! And I know it’s going to cause issues for them, such as less DJ slots or shorter sets. But this is going on the info and viewpoints I’ve encountered from said thread and from talking to people.
Furthermore - and this is me talking personally, to be fair - I’d encourage the idea of shorter music times even if Kiezburn did go to a new location. The sheer volume (in terms of number of hours) of music is causing problems and needs to be addressed. It’s not just for health reasons, but to people who want to hear things like birds chirping or Mother Nature “omming” at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Personally, as a visual artist, I find it hard to concentrate and to paint in these conditions, which is why I’ve stayed away. There’s no point in me going if I can’t contribute, and I’m not the only one. Presently, I feel that with the current levels, Kiezburn runs the risk of ceasing to be recognisable as a burn and becoming just another techno/psytrance festival.

Anyway, thanks for reading, look forward to the input 😊

Less hours rather than lower volume; let’s be nice and inclusive to our fellow burners as well as civically responsible to our neighbours. :)


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:41PM

It was my failed attempt at providing links to explain how to do something mathematically that I learned from mentors and trial and error. I was not aware math had so much to do with this when I was shown how. I knew sound was mathematical but no clue about 90% of the stuff I know now. This is why I said I could be very helpful if I could see the land in person. I've been doing outdoor events for years and I'm very familiar with using topography to my advantage. The way a slope is curved (convex/concave) to the angle of the slope or if the valley is a level plain or shaped like a bowl all matter. The trees nearby or a river or lake or buildings in the path all matter. If the bottom of the valley has a river the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure would vary from the top of the valley 400m away. I've just done sound in a lot of places so I have a good idea of where to place the system for the desired outcome and then you can just tweak the speaker angles and positions until it sounds how you want. I've spent many days outside setting speakers up in every configuration I could find to see what the difference was in the end result. The directional bass formula looked doable and I'm good at math and my wife has a physics degree so I wasn't worried about my ability to learn something new if my current level of knowledge was insufficient.


Callum Macdonald Thu 16 Jan 2020 2:08PM

Makes sense. I can see the logic.

If the poll says "we want loud music", but there's no venue which makes that practical, what are we gonna do? Maybe it's still useful to have some poll data so that we have a sense of what the community feels in numbers...


Paul aka Khromo Thu 16 Jan 2020 2:51PM

No, I like electronic music and I like it loud! I just don't like it 20 hours a day.
My initil preference was less hours, same volume, Freiland; but that was before I heard about the severity of the restrictions, which pretty much rules that out.

My preference is less hours, same volume, regartdless of venue or date and this seems to be a common viewpoint judging by the posts on facebook.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:58PM

My friends have people use a sign out sheet and list their emails. Each headset is numbered. This requires a person to be at that camp though for checking them out and people turning them back in. They used to collect IDs at one point to further motivate their safe return. Sometimes they end up having a few that go home with someone else but they have always been mailed back to the owner. The main concern I have with this is there being enough headsets that everyone who wants one gets to use it.


[deactivated account] Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:10PM

@smallmovez nice, I think we even had two "silent disco" dreams (art projects submitted for community voting) on the Dreams platform last year. Unfortunately the first try at Dreams did not work out well, and the projects came a bit too late to be voted for or get funded. BUT I see it as a positive - we have a lot of interested hippies (who wanna bring it to our little Playa). Maybe you could join the project to ensure the headphones are badass ;) One thing I DO know is that there WAS problem with people going to their camps and leaving headphones there, also going to sleep (!!!???) and leaving them in the tents. NOT sure what to do about this, if headphones are good & very expensive. I would also LOVE for it to be an investment for future burns - as in, something that comes back each ear. That would justify spending a bit more or making it an infrastructure project if we want to commit to generally lighter dBs at our burn on week-days, for example?
@janthomas I like the idea of collaborating with Freiland. Maybe a way forward could be committing to loud soundsysytems on FRI/SAT only? And going for silent disco bombastic on other days? I feel that this would be good for ourselves as a community, and the neighbours.


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:44PM

No, im just a free camper, but I helped design the urban plan for the Freiland site and have been doing pro audio for 20 years


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:39PM

Yea, the sound was likely louder than that on the dancefloor, which is why exact pinpointing if where the measurements were made is useful.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:31PM

It's easy-ish for me to point out those locations on a map, less so to communicate that to you somehow electronically while I'm at work.


Callum Macdonald Thu 16 Jan 2020 12:13PM

I'd suggest we figure out what the venue options are BEFORE we have a poll. If the venue is only possible based on some specific conditions (like silent weekdays, some music Fri / Sat) then it'd make sense to incorporate this into the poll.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:45PM

I've done it with my own sound system I previously owned in the past many times. Some of the info in those links are very relevant to what you are wanting to do. If the venue is flat and the neighbors are close by I'm not sure how much help I would be.

If you put the speakers flat on the ground then yes the bass will travel up the incline. But if you propped up the back of the cabinets to make them fire at an angle into the hill it would impact the bass waves more.

It would depend on the land used and sound camp protocol as to whether or not I would be willing to help. I'm very capable but I have ZERO desire to try and make a site layout/placement or venue location work that I think is a losing battle from the start.

How much does the weather change at that time of the year? I'm aware from daytime to night time there will be variation but I've never had an issue with these variables. I choose venues based on their ability to accommodate my event and try hard to avoid changing my event to accommodate a venue. If I'm in the second scenario I failed at finding a good venue imo and probably won't be using it again.

I've fired my sound into a two meter tall berm and the bass was non existent 100 meters in front of the stack. The two other systems on site blocked what tiny bit of sound made it past the berm at 100 meters. It was all deflected further into the valley vs into the event. We had 3 professional sound guys that brought their systems work together during build to make sure we didn't have battling systems, that shit is annoying.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:06PM

The first discusses formulas to deal with the topography of the land and atmospheric differentiations. The second link is telling you how to avoid doing what you want to do, so if you properly implement the steps the article is telling you not to do the result is noise cancellation. The third link has a list of frequencies and how they are perceived by the human experience which is relevant to limiters/gates/processors. I didn't read the sources listed of the third link but I thought there may also be some valuable information in the sources too.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:00PM

It's referring to using sound waves to make those scans and how variations in the physical components of the environment will impact a scan. Or am I misinterpreting that? A 50hz wave is a 50hz wave regardless of its application, or am I wrong about that?


Randy Pence Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:40PM

I'm trying not to take offense of not being considered part of the Berlin sound scene, despite working in the field in Berlin since 2003 and writing the document initially used for sound camps 2 years ago. Perhaps if I sent you an invoice, I'd be taken more seriously, but this will be my last post on the subject.

I designed, installed, tuned, and coordinated with 3rd party amt approved acoustic measuring consultants for the legendarily quiet Bar 25 sound system, among others (this was the only one where external signatures were necessary) so I have a professional idea on how this works. You could hire the same consultants to do a model of the area and determine approximately how loud we can be based on terrain and distances to affected neighbors, but the only paperwork the amt will care about is the officially measured value after the system has been locked down by said 3rd party. It is a good thing that extra budgeting is being considered, because imagine how much it will cost for 2-3 specialists to drive up and spend the day measuring on and off-site for one sound system, let alone several. Each system will require to be sealed off, unable to be manipulated to be turned up louder, unless obviously tampered with. In most cases, additional limiters will be necessary as the typical processing in a sound system is to enhance and protect the speaker drivers, not the ears of neighbors. Such compliance will probably cost in the low thousands when all said and done, considering that it costs hundreds to lock down just a single local system which hasn't had any sort of terrain analysis.

Oh, and if the neighbors are vocal enough, the paperwork may not even matter. I was involved in a big open air at mauerpark in the late 00s. No sponsorship, but we had our own bars and an 8 point sound system over much of the grassy area. No 3rd party measurements, because we knew how to keep our levels under the legal limit. That did not matter for a local resident who objected to the audience which assembled. The police were annoyed at her, but her voice unfortunately carried a lot more weight than our paperwork. We were under legal limits, but since the legal limits do not measure bass as efficiently as they should, we were in fact rattling windows at the police station and as a compromise, turned off the subs for the duration of the event, which went until 10 pm. I'm guessing the cops did not want thousands of party people to angrily leave the area with the music abruptly shutting down.

Kiezburn is just a thousand people. There are no sponsors. We are relative nobodies in their area as we do not even own the land. We were under approved limits and still felt the wrath of the locals.

You might enjoy wasting your time, but I won't. If we move somewhere else, cool, I'm in, but this is where I bow out of freiland discussions.


[deactivated account] Wed 22 Jan 2020 3:47PM

@randypence sorry I underestimated your level of relevant proficiency. From the threads I read I did get a strong idea you were an expert on the topic, but not that you specialised in outdoor events. I bow to you for doing all the work last year for free and add that if you are the right person to be able to negotiate and get us that paper, then we should pay you for the service. You were automatically included in the "someone on Berlin music scene" proposal.
I have noted now that you are not so interested in Freiland as an option.
EDIT: and maybe it's a good thing as I'm realising that we could only pay you if we go with Freiland and therefore you are not burning there this time. As a burn we can only outsource/pay to necessary externals - burning volunteers are supposed to volunteer, right?


CJ Yetman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:42PM

I don’t understand if that was a question, or a proposal, or what you want me to reply to?


walto Wed 22 Jan 2020 2:09PM

Tnx for the curiosity Alina. However, I personally have no strong feelings on the matter. I hope the community finds a good balance between the principles. I am happy to help guide the steps & process, if that is helpful.

As a tip: if you feel strongly about it, it might be useful to get involved in the Dreams process -

The Dream process lead(s) will in large part decide the color of the event. How do you design the rules so that a nice balance between art installations/big art/camps/sound/experiences/workshops/... is achieved, is something that gets baked into the Dreams process.

For example, the current Dreams process has the following implications:
- small art is favored vs. big art
- camps get a lot of advantages, particularly big sound camps
- infrastructure grants are hard to easily size up what help is actually needed
- ...

A future lead of the Dreams process, could make some serious changes to address some of the concerns, or choose to leave it as is... :)


Jeff Spirlock Wed 22 Jan 2020 11:14PM

@randypence Is it possible that the reason the local municipality is complaining is because Kiez is not hiring their local professionals the AMT recommends to examine the site? Maybe it is a pay to play type scenario. It would be putting money back into their community which could strengthen the events relationship with the locals.

I'm still learning the laws here. Do you have links by chance to local codes that apply to these type of situations? Or maybe some key words I could search. Do the same laws apply to indoor and outdoor events for sound?


Saskia Sun 26 Jan 2020 12:12PM

Tl;Dr: We will run into these kinds of problems at any area we choose and should not adopt a mindset of 'them vs. us' in terms of the surrouding communities. I would 2nd CJs phrasing.

I would highly discourage any vocabulary that paints the surrounding communities as 'against' us, because that is most certainly not the case. The reason things are as they are right now are a mixture of several factors that have already been named elsewhere (2 loud events too close together. Some sound camps of us not being set up in a way that avoids most problems.). Painting the surrounding communities as 'above the law' or simply people with a stick up their private parts, does not facilitate a mindset that is helpful.

It is important to notice that the first task of the Amt and the authorities of the village is to represent their village and the people who live there.
There is no law that requires them to give us the permit. I do think they WANT events like Kiez Burn close to them and I perceive them as one of the friendlier neighborhoods for such event. Their willingness to talk, discuss and find compromises is a testament to that.

A short reminder that Germany is rather densely populated and it is hard to find any spot where there is neither a massive restriction because of 'Naturschutzgebiet' nor neighbors closeby who object in having their rural peace disturbed. Freiland is already a super nice enviroment to work with, especially given that the local population cannot set up booths and make money themselves like they do with commercial festivals and events in other areas.


Jeff Spirlock Sun 26 Jan 2020 12:57PM

I wasn't trying to imply Freiland was out to get us or against us.

I am saying, I have witnessed this mentality in finding and keeping a venue for a celebration.

If this mentality becomes obvious it should be given deep conversation.

I do not see this as a current issue with Freiland.

I think Freiland is a good choice.


Saskia Sun 26 Jan 2020 12:58PM

Thanks for clarifying. :)


Jeff Spirlock Sun 26 Jan 2020 1:07PM

Also my limited understanding of how sound laws work in Germany is lacking. I'm used to each community having set db limits for residential, commercial and industrial. Each parcel of property has a specific designation with the county designating its approved uses whether industrial, residential, mixed use, etc. It's public record easily found on the internet for each city/town. This reading would be taken at their property line. Public streets can be up for debate but usually ignored as a violation. The police must make contact if someone calls in a complaint. They can see your permits in their system easily. You also have copies on site to show them with a decibel reading and they gladly leave. Some cities don't approve your application and issue the permit until 7 days before the event to exceed those limits.14 days prior to the event was my Access Permit granted for the venue that was city property. A specific application for a Noise Variance Permit and Public Land Use is required. Yes, you read that correctly. I spent months planning and organizing an event I wouldn't have 2 required permits for until 1-2 weeks prior to the event. No guarantees on it's approval although the more years the event went on the less likely a denial became.

Even when I'm within my legal rights and I get complaints outdoors at night I lower my sound out of respect for the neighbors. Most of the time.

I'm curious if a system like this exists in Germany and if it doesn't I'm a tad perplexed.


Vlad Wed 29 Jan 2020 11:05PM

Ok, right now looks like Freiland is throwing KiezBurn under the bus, to keep their own event loud. It is fully their right, it is their land after all and we are guest there and it is totally ok. But this should adapt our strategy, I would suggest as much as significantly cut the rent if we only allowed to have a quite event, at least get some money for art.

Concerning local folks, they are not holy cows not to be disturbed, society consists of a lot of different agents and they have a lot of interest conflicts. Laws are the way to find a middle ground and if Freiland supported us, they can actually use their land anyhow they want within legal boundaries created by people of Germany, meck-pom and surrounding villages. The laws are well defined and are protected, we dont need to antagonize anybody. For instance, ordnungsamt cannot just cancel the event or even not allow it, they have to give you a reason and complaints are not enough as far as i understand.


Purzel Thu 16 Jan 2020 2:06PM

As far as I understand the next meet up will be to decide for a venue and I think in order to do that we should figure out if, for example a quiet festival is even beeing considered by the majority of us or if we have certain no go´s.


Paul aka Khromo Sun 12 Jan 2020 5:32PM

Re the neighhours - that'ssomething that is difficult for me to gauge without seeing the reports, but I take your point. Also - the neighhours weren't the only people complaining about the moise.
Re the suggestions - I know we're never going to find a solution that suits everyone , but then we have to find the solution that gives as much to as many people as possible. There IS still a lot fo support for a quieter burn regardless fo where it goes though.

Anyway, I've done as much as I can at this point: I've opened the forum, made suggesinons and expressed my own opinion. I don't want to push my own viewpoint too much and I don;t want to be too dominant a voice in the conversation.

I've no real frame of reference into other locations should it come to that, so I'll wait to see how the sound debate turns out and whether it resutls in any shifts in convention.

Thanks for your contribution!


Meghan Fri 17 Jan 2020 11:18PM

Something I think is worth mentioning/considering:

I absolutely love the idea that a burn is whatever you make of it, whatever you decide to bring to it. But this concept breaks down when it comes to sound; if people want to have quiet time sometimes, to hear birds and wind in the trees, there's no way that they can "bring quiet" so they can have that experience during the burn. If enough people bring sound systems, that dominates the experience of everyone.


CJ Yetman Sat 18 Jan 2020 1:01AM

Just so the perception of the sound complaints from the neighbors doesn’t get way off base... the legal limit in the surrounding towns I believe was 55db. A normal conversation is about 60db. The measurements that I took were usually about 35db, which is a bit more than a whisper. I’m not saying that can’t be annoying, especially to country folk that are used to dead silence, but it’s not window rattling or floor shaking levels.

On-site noise is a different story.


Vlad Mon 20 Jan 2020 6:11PM

As CJ wrote several times before me, there is an interest conflict which cannot be solved by a win/win strategy (or at least i dont see it). In this case a set of rules and agreements should put in place to create a framework for working together. For instance in case of a gathering on private property neighbors should be protected against noise and other negative side effects to the level possible. The framework for the well being of neighbors is set up in place and executed accordingly. But world is complicated and has many agents (once i chatted with a local who complained that once a year the super market in his village is over run and he cannot buy his beer anymore during the 3 days, so if he runs out of beer he is fucked, which was not true, but lets imagine it was). This is a typical multi agent scenario which is very difficult to fix to reduce complaint to a minimum and even more, some agents of the event are actually quite interested that their stockpile for instance is reduced to 0 as it provides more money.

Concerning internal people, everybody who attends an event knows what is happening or should inform him/herself. It is also a compromise between all sides. Last kiezburn i slept (tried) in the middle of bermuda triangle, the sound waves were coming from Underworld, Saloon, Musotopia and the desert stage at the same time and they were hard. Did i like it 100%, of course not, but why should i complain if i picked the spot to be in myself and willingly came there.

What makes me insane sometimes is how people revert the truth depending on their position, I saw few people at burns who loudly complained and fought load music when they wanted to sleep and one day later turned the volume to the highest when they were playing as DJs. This type of behavior makes me sick and i see it way too often.


Jan Thomas Tue 21 Jan 2020 8:03AM

hey @alina we didn't lose Freiland completely due to the noise issues - the current picture is that we could either have a "quiet" burn at the same date, or a burn with music managed in a more sustainable way (as per all the great ideas in this thread) at a different date.


CJ Yetman Sat 18 Jan 2020 12:01PM

To be clear, I didn't say nor intend to imply that the complaints are total bullshit. I simply seek to temper any tendency to exaggerate those complaints. There were multiple complaints from the surrounding communities over the course of the event and it is the local authorities' and the amt's job to respond to those complaints. But let's not foster an impression that we were so loud that the neighbouring communities were shaking from the noise. Nor that there were no legitimate complaints and they were merely malicious fabrications. Just want to have a realistic discussion based on a true information.


CJ Yetman Sat 18 Jan 2020 12:19PM

I haven't spoke to the Amt or Freiland personally, but my impression from what Jan has said is that we have not pissed them off so much. Rather, they see the complaints as a real problem (which they reasonably should), and they seek to find a solution. I think any willingness at all to have us back, which there seems to be, is a strong indication that neither Freiland nor the Amt are pissed at us. If anything, it seems like they've become more willing over time rather than less, as at the end of last year's event it seemed unlikely. There is a post-mortem about the noise complaints in the KB19 Google Drive somewhere.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 9:53AM

If there where decent quality headphones for a silent disco I love being having options for what I listen to regardless of my location. Being able to hang out at any camp and choose what DJ to listen to is amazing. My friends run a silent disco for burns and I love when they just run a playlist on one channel to give some variety to the electronic dominated sound scape.


Paul aka Khromo Sun 19 Jan 2020 8:47PM

Vlad - this sounds a bit cynical - it's someone else's fault for complaning? And then you go on to verbally buse them?
Joking or not - this is not Bunrer spirit.

And this is before we get to the issue you continuously ignore: the effects the music has on other burners. Are their complains "bullshit" also, because they do not take legal action?


Vlad Mon 20 Jan 2020 6:00PM

It was an extreme example of possible other frustrations typical for a region which might produce a complaint which in other circumstance might get avoided.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:30PM

Yes. Landscape is going to be the biggest factor of the issues you listed. Ideally guidelines would be set to regulate the approved systems so the other 4 issues aside from landscape you addressed would be minimally impactful.

The venue/landscape is going to be key. If the area is very flat with minimal tree cover and has residents within 1-2 kilometers it could still be problematic. I could foresee neighbors complaining even though we are far below legal limits. I've gone to neighbors houses that have called the police on festivals I've worked ( there were only a few so we checked all their properties) and although you could hear a faint noise in the distance it was so quiet I was amazed they cared. I can't imagine they could hear it inside their house only outside. We had a permit for 80db which is at their property line, we were under 40. Even without a noise variance permit we were under the 55db limit for the municipality. The police are required to make contact at that point but they just wanted to speak to who is in charge and see the permit (even though he admitted he pulled my permit before he even came out). We have had issues with permits for fire performances as well (they only are granted 1 WEEK prior to the event) so I got the fire marshall, parks department on my side then approached the city council. Lots of leg work but they were very supportive as long as we did all the legwork to prove the neighbors were being over the top.

We use mounting brackets to angle our highs/mids slightly toward the ground. If we had an incline to work with that would be amazing. If we aimed up hill the noise would be much more contained. Bass waves are going to fall apart fast when they hit that progressive incline. Implementing dual stacks vs mono stack using directionality and a processor we could use the stacks to cancel each other out. It would be less loud in one direction but it would severely limit the other three directions.


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 8:03PM

Considering that CJ measured a lower value than our written limit approved by the amt, you could pay someone to formally do all the things we are doing by informally and the police would still come by because some tiny town doesn't care about some random small festival taking place once a year.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:38PM

Measured from multiple places, multiple times


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:29PM

I'm not saying wattage is definitive. My point was with high quality gear (why should we encourage people to bring shit sound that hurts peoples hearing when there is good quality available) there is no need for these large wattage amplifiers. It's excessive. If people don't like it they shouldn't buy garbage sound gear.


[deactivated account] Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:13PM

LOVE THIS @smallmovez ! Collaboration is sexy AF and having less money spent on sound VS art is a biiiig turn on :heart: ;)


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:41PM

"108 dB at the speaker" what's the point of a dance floor style sound camp if the speaker isn't putting out >=108db? ;-) Most estimates say about 120db for a "concert", and I don't think they're talking about at the speaker grill, but I could be wrong.


[deactivated account] Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:17PM

Fully agree. We can be argued down on principle of Redical Self Expression: that this is the important and only way for Berlin community to radically express themselves. But I do hear that enough "please-stop-the-loud-banging--all-over-the-place-all-the-time-already" calls to sanity from both within and without our community have been voiced. We did have a big discussion last year and we did agree on a curfew - except there was virtually none in the end (or so my ears told me). Plus, I will keep repeating, we have an extremely poor representation on art/performances/other outerworldly burnery experiences. I call for a return to some radical curation of Radical Self Expression :) Also curious to hear from Waldo on this topic! @waldo


[deactivated account] Wed 22 Jan 2020 3:41PM

It's an idea and I would love to hear from you what you think about going pro on audio output control?


walto Wed 22 Jan 2020 2:03PM

Good point. So a discussion on the proposal would probably highlight that aspect and most likely result in a tweaking of the sound policy 2020 proposal. Fruitful feedback :=)


Leon Noller Sat 25 Jan 2020 2:35PM

I like it and totally up for that


CJ Yetman Sun 26 Jan 2020 11:49AM

I don’t see it as people above the law, or people out to get us... I look at it as the limits the amt set last year were insufficient to satisfy the community.


[deactivated account] Tue 28 Jan 2020 1:53PM

YES totally YES to that! Cosy, intimate and dancy! <3 It's the living-room dancefloor style ( think @Till Tailor ) was talking about 🎉


walto Mon 27 Jan 2020 11:45PM

You are right David. If we abide by those legal levels, we can keep having the event in same manner since we did not go above those levels last year either. However, it became clear last year they do not really understand what those decibel levels mean. We should probably self-impose stricter levels so to avoid burning local bridges.


Jan-Christian Kaspareit Tue 28 Jan 2020 11:10AM

Our permit was also clear on allowed sound levels last year and we measured those as well, but when people complained, nobody gave a fuck, that we were in the allowed range. The Ordnungsamt stated more or less "if people complain, then it's too loud". The "legal" part is is really difficult, as it's not really fun to get into legal discussions, when the Ordnungsamt threatens to withdraw the permit. So please, please, please don't get too confident with "legal requirements". Just be aware that we will not be in a strong position, when the police/Ordnungsamt calls friday night at 2 in the morning.

So this year we will need to make sure that we stay (way) below the sound level of last year. Last year we almost lost the permit on friday and as already mentioned, we were totally within the legal limits. The volunteers measuring sound will be a great addition, but nobody at the Ordnungsamt was really open for discussions about measured sound levels at night and it's almost impossible to measure all the spots at once.

We should just be aware, that we are close to the next villages and do everything we can to reduce our sound impact. Especially we should play it safe on the weekdays. Last year our warm up parties were a little too much. Keep it a little more low key on wednesday and thursday, when a lot of people have to get up early for work and the go a little harder on friday and saturday. The weekend seemed pretty okay last year.


Jan Thomas Tue 28 Jan 2020 1:18PM

@David I have to correct you on this. In 2019 our permit allowed for 55dB during night hours and 70dB during the day, which is more lenient and easier to keep within. Sticking within 55 during the day and 45 at night requires us to have less sound than last year. I was involved with the measurements every night and we were above 45dB a few times (weather & location dependent).

As @Jan-Christian Kaspareit points out the challenge is not just to be within the legal limit - but to not piss off the neighbors - which we learned last year is easy to do even though being technically within the limit. Also it would be part of our agreement with Freiland to not be putting any large soundsystems, so this also excludes the possibility of it. A Kiezburn at Freiland around 16-21 June 2020 would need to be quiet as per the other posts about this, i.e. we'd need to carefully test and figure out how we can have some smaller sound stages, ensure the systems can't be turned up too loud and prevent the sound from travelling to neighboring villages at night - especially during the weeknights.


[deactivated account] Tue 28 Jan 2020 1:48PM

hello awesome people @waldo @Jan-Christian Kaspareit @David would you be open to moving this talk to ? I know location and sound are interlinked, but it would help us to remain sane to keep sound talks to sound thread! P.S. we are starting to run out of time again (it's end of January! we should be initiating membership registrations!) We COULD have a solution now if we agreed on a "quiet" (not silent) burn at Freiland at the same dates! I am thankful to hear that even the awesome cowboys are open to "keeping it down". Shifting our focus a bit away from big-ass soundsystems would be healthy for us. Experimentation (at least for one year) would be awesome for us. We could buy us more time to find and book a new location for 2021 if necessary! Could we move this convo there AND invite people who really need to be here - Zerzura, Underworld, Pirates (?), more cowboys? - if they are planning on coming back in 2020 !?


Jan Thomas Thu 30 Jan 2020 9:09AM

it's a challenging grey area - you are correct in that ordnungsamt can't just cancel the event - they are legally required to give us a permit. but they can legally prohibit us from being loud while having the event, as there is no legal right for us to have a loud event that disturbs the locals - which is why we're down this path. and while of course one could start a legal case and go to court to fight for a loud event, but that won't help the relationship with anyone local there i.e. it's not a path we want to go down. ultimately that's why we're checking an alternative location, which might help resolve all of this.


walto Thu 16 Jan 2020 3:01PM

Thanks for facilitating this interesting discussion Paul! I would agree this seems to be the consensus going forward: people are fine with less hours of loud music. This also seems to be the outcome of the Census results (see "noice levels"):


walto Thu 16 Jan 2020 2:38PM

I think the Freiland case is quite unique in that the question needs to be asked: are we ok with having no electronic sound whatsoever? If so, then we can keep the same location at the same time. If not, we need to look at other locations/times.

Any location will be a trade-off in terms of sound anyways.


walto Fri 17 Jan 2020 10:39AM

Added a summary on top in the thread to reflect the advice process that was followed + give a clear view for ppl on the topic stumbling into this thread.


[deactivated account] Sat 18 Jan 2020 8:59AM

Thanks CJ, good to have facts and numbers on hand! Can we get a summary of why we managed to piss off the neighbours and the local municipal Amt and Freiland so much? They are telling us clearly and firmly that we are not wanted - with music. How did this escalate? Can we have known facts added at the top of the thread? This could also be a good piece for KB 2019 project 'post-mortem'. I'm now reading the Location thread and realising that we "lost Freiland" - so the option of a quiet burn there is completely off the cards. However, I still think we should give ourselves this challenge and try something completely different in year 4!


[deactivated account] Sun 19 Jan 2020 2:27PM

@vlad I would like to share with you that I feel uncomfortable about the wording used in your comment, that I perceive as severely judgemental of people receiving social help. I would like to call for more sensitive, respectful and inclusive language, please.


[deactivated account] Mon 20 Jan 2020 9:45PM

@vlad best to avoid - we do not know anybody's story so we do not know - plus, we do our best to live up to principle N.12 (="don't be an asshole") and to be a bunch of friendly, inclusive and non judgemental hippies in here - and everywhere. Thank you!


CJ Yetman Sat 18 Jan 2020 12:03PM

and this is the other event at Freiland


CJ Yetman Sat 18 Jan 2020 7:11PM

I hope that we care about the local community's concerns... it's not only the ethically responsible thing to do, but it is the practical thing to do. They are our host... we need to respect their concerns and take them seriously, even if they seem unreasonable from our perspective.

I like easy to follow, objective rules too, but reality doesn't often work out that way. There are a number of problems that could arise if we follow the legal rules, but ignore the "non-quantifiable" concerns of the local community, for instance...

  1. If we strictly follow legal sound limits, but the local community is still making numerous complaints, the amt probably could force us to shut down, on grounds that it's a public nuisance or something like that. That could possibly set the stage for a post legal battle, that hypothetically could resolve in our favor, but honestly, is there any financial or other award that would make having the event shut down worth it?

  2. The amt and local community are not legally obliged to give us a permit (as far as I know), so even if we follow legal limits but the community is still annoyed, they can still refuse us a permit for the following years.

  3. There are many potential negative outcomes to developing an antagonistic relationship with the local community. I can imagine that playing out in numerous ways that we would want to avoid.

So, bullshit or not, I think we have to take it seriously and try not to piss them off.


[deactivated account] Sat 18 Jan 2020 12:44PM

@vlad I'm with you! Music is important and music is life, I'm just saying that there other types of music and other ways to play/enjoy it!


Vlad Sat 18 Jan 2020 2:22PM

@cjyetman I know you did not. I did!

Now I will be impolite and judgmental: Complaints which do not end with legal paperwork in Germany (either police or ordnungsamt) are "bullshit", meaning they are no quantifiable or can be dealt on a logical basis (we are too loud -> above the allowed Db, we suppress the sound, no music from 2 to 8 - we cut off electricity). People complain about loud music very often for different set of reasons, some cause they spent their entire live leaving on social help in 35 dB environment in the middle of nowhere, where their own farts were the loudest sounds. I would complain on their place as well, they get nothing from our event, only negative externalities (mostly psychological).

Now they question is how deep is our care for that?


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 9:38AM

Are police reports for noise complaints public access? Is there anyway to hold local law enforcement accountable for following the law? Meaning if the DB limit wasn't violated but they aren't issuing a permit because of noise complaints a government body you could appeal to, to force the local government to obey the law and fuck off? Judging by the hours of complaints it sounds like bullshit.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 11:06AM

Do you know how to do that effectively? Also taking into account landscape, air pressure, wind, and humidity changes? That would be excellent if so.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:39PM

How do you do the math taking into account the landscape? I would love to see this. I tried to get an elevation map of the area with sufficient detail, but failed.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 1:15PM

Do you actually know how to apply these techniques or are you just posting Google results? If not, it’s a moot point until we find someone willing and able to do so. None of those links seem very relevant to our situation.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:51PM

Are you sure you posted the correct links, because the academic one is about estimating surface properties, like "roughness", at microscopic levels, and the other two are primarily about increasing the bass or enhancing the sound of an indoor, hifi sound system?


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:20PM

Depends on the cabinet designs a little but I'm aware bass is omnidirectional. I'm also aware I can set the same speakers up in various configurations and each has its pros and cons. Typically my goal is to create the most bass and longest throw. In my search to do so I have found many configurations that were less efficient at doing this.

JBL 225S implement a bandpass box design and are more directional than say the more commonly used design similar to a Yamaha SW218V which uses a front loaded ported enclosure. Both have front ports but the internal structural framing is very different as well as the placement of the ports and drivers.

Once again, if they are bringing 24k watts of bass speakers of course you can hear them far away. Is this your SC, Underworld?


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:27PM

You might want to read that first one again more carefully. They're talking about scanning areas between 50 mm and 100 μm, and features between 10 nm and 1Å. And it's primarily about scanning probe microscopy.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:46PM

@randypence I get what you mean by "wattage isn't a reliable metric for acoustic output", but don't you think if one could make a reasonably accurate estimate that a common sound system with 10k watts could not possibly break the legal limits we had to adhere to, then if we told camps that you cannot bring a sound system that is more than 5k watts, then we would very likely be ok?


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:34PM

The brand's used by the main sound camps were Loud and lambda labs. Not danley or l'acoustic, but certainly not crap gear.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:05PM

I'm just struggling to see how anyone, much less anyone here, could use that study to practically deal with the problem we have at hand. Are you suggesting that we make an extremely accurate scan of the surrounding landscape? For what purpose?


walto Tue 21 Jan 2020 8:07PM

I vote @smallmovez for sound professor!


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 2:06PM

To save you a trip to the site, Underworld used higher power (manufacturer claims 6 kw per box) 2x18" ported subs (I can't remember if it 1x or 2x per side), the saloon a single higher power 15" ported sub (I think), and Zerzura a couple ported subs. I can't remember what the other camps had, but these were the main sound camps for the past 2 years.

You need a really big wall in order to cancel the bass behind those setups.


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 2:58PM

I found this while googling, and the text and math is fairly easy to read. It doesnt really help us with Freiland, but might come in handy for future locations. In particular, a forest can attenuate .2 dB/m.


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:48PM

But where? It is easy to find the camp placements on the map, but not where you measured from


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 1:50PM

The main math to consider is that sound falls 6 dB per doubling of distance under average atmospheric conditions. Higher frequencies will be reduced more the hotter and drier the air is, louder when more humid. Terrain can help absorb sound, but as we cannot control the terrain beyond the site and since bass waves are so long, I wouldn't consider any terrain absorption in a conservative prediction. I disagree about the bass disappearing up inclined terrain, as Underworld could be heard could be heard quite clearly on all the sides of its progressive inclined barriers.

In the sound protocol I wrote, I touched upon directivity and bass cancelling methods, but apart from aiming some of the speakers eastwards, nobody really followed it.

I cannot stress the 6dB math enough. Check out this interactive link on predicting SPL values. It does have an option for inserting a barrier, but considering how long bass waves are, a real-world barrier would have to be prohibitively large.[1.5,100,130]&receiver=[1.5,1000]&barrier=[0]&display=0


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 2:26PM

where did you measure from? like, which village?

Keep in mind, 80 dB 10m from the speaker would still mean 108 dB at the speaker


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:10PM

2 subs at 12k watts is workable but if its 24k on 4 sub enclosures of course that is gonna carry a long distance. I can be annoying with 2x 12" subs on 2k watts and 1x 600 watt 8" top box. Is there a reason you don't just tell people they can't bring over 10k watts worth of enclosures?


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 3:47PM

Wattage isn't a reliable metric for acoustic output. I have a sub which can produce 110 dB at one meter with just watt. Raise the power to 100 watts and the volume goes up 20 dB.


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:55PM

No, the example I have is not theoretical. A horn loaded sub of sufficient size will exceed volume limits with less than 1k watts


walto Tue 21 Jan 2020 8:01PM

yes it is possible if there is a budget for this and a Kiez Burn lead that works together with this sound expert.

I would suggest the following:
1. The person that wants to lead sound for Kiez Burn follows the advice process - with a concrete proposal (ideally a new thread, not a poll, but just a thread - voting is not the purpose, discussion is)
2. Input from the community on if this is the right approach

3. A budget decision is made based on feasibility

We will publicize last year's finances in one of the coming weeks, so it will give a bit of a better orientation.


CJ Yetman Tue 21 Jan 2020 2:13PM

I’m familiar with that rule of thumb, but I suspect there are/were other factors affecting the sound travel last year. I took numerous readings less than a km off site last year and got less than 40db almost always. According to the 6db rule, that would require the sound at 10m from the speakers being about 80db, which is laughable. So something else was definitely dampening the sound, probably the landscape... which is why being able to fully understand that and “do the math” would probably be very advantageous, but seriously doubt that is feasible in a reasonable way.


David Mon 27 Jan 2020 8:50PM

"to put it in technical terms, that would mean in the neighboring villages the decibels levels can not go over 55 decibel from 07:00-23:00 and 45 decibel from 23:00-07:00"

That's amazing news. Put that in writing and sign it from both sides. That means we can hold the burn the same like last year. Complaints came in at measured sound levels of 35db. All we need is a few volunteers for sound metering shifts, and that's it. And if we are super nice, on top of these requirements, we tweak some small things to lower our impact out of good will (but not out of legal requirement).


Jeff Spirlock Sun 26 Jan 2020 11:16AM

My understanding is there will be strict db limits and hours of operation for certain sound applications with Freiland. Not 100% silent, that is not what I believe. Those parameters will severely limit how some people can share their art. That is not very inclusive.

I was under the impression that the sound protocol last year was not violated. Meaning Kiez Burn played by the rules and it still caused issues for the following year with possible permitting.

How do you deal with people who act above the law?

That is one of the worst case scenarios in securing a venue. If you have prominent residents who are determined to see this event not continue near their village you should just consider Freiland a loss and move on. I don't think that is the case though. I think the Freiland Community needs more information and personal experience in dealing with Kiez to better understand what we are about.


Purzel Sun 26 Jan 2020 10:30AM

Thank your for all the effort and the elbow grease you´ve been putting into this :) Your post is an intresting read for me.

The way I read it, it´s sounds to me like that you´re understanding of our current agreement with Freiland means that "silent" means no sound at all.

Last year we had some small sound camps, such as Musotopia or Schlampagne (I hope I spelled it right) and I saw many people dancing and partying there. Those camps are still no problem, the size of their speakers and floors allows us to keep the sound level on site rather than traveling to the neighbour villages.


Purzel Fri 24 Jan 2020 11:28AM

We finally did the negotiation with the freiland team and local authorities. So here is what a quite Kiezburn would look like.

Small soundcamps like Musotopia or Flowcamp as well as your bluetooth speakers won't be an issue.

Big soundcamps like underworld are not going to work.

That means we can still have a burn with lots of music and celebration just not on the level of big dance floors as last year.

Once we established a better level of trust, in 2021 we can have a new negotiation on reestablishing bigger stages.

I personally think that this is a good opportunity for us as a community.

-We could bring more energy and budget into art and workshops
-we can still dance to music but in a more intimate set up
-less focus on big dancefloors leaves more room for personal interaction as well as being in and enjoying the nature at freiland.

Please check out Ancka´s most recent post at to see more details about our negotiations. :heart:


[deactivated account] Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:08PM

@waldo sounds solid :)

@randypence (also @cjyetman because you were heavily involved/contributed to trying to solve the problem last year) I see this more as a meta measure combining:

  • "responsible" approach to sound matters to demonstrate to Freiland + Amt + neighbours we care and we invest into the problematic area
  • we integrate the fact that a German loves a paper - our hippies can be running around measuring on every corner but no reasonable German will ever listen to that kind of unprovable nonsense. Come on, you know how it is. Maybe we even invite a local/ a Freilander on the last measuring trip pre-event? Or just get a signed paper from the hired pro?
  • an opportunity for KB sound team to learn basics of open sound set up from a pro + document for future use by any KB sound lead
  • put some money back into Berlin sound scene (we MUST have somebody here who could benefit from that kind of small community gig)



[deactivated account] Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:28PM

Hello awesome people! Thank you for the lively discussion, I love it!
I am wondering right now, in case we do score a date with Freiland where WE CAN play music FRI/SAT and WILL have big soundsystems but DO have to be extra careful to not fuck it up one last time, would it be an option to pay a festival/outdoor sound specialist to help us draw up clear yet strict restrictions for sounds system set up AND to scope the land/help with sound placement/tell us HOW MANY soundsystems we could have without fucking it up? I am not doubting your awesomeness, but I think perhaps an investment like this would also help us come across as committed and motivated to leave a better sound trace? What do you think?
Also @waldo @janthomas ?

Also @paulbradshaw do you want to move forward with an AP on the topic with our community, including soundcamps (who are not talking with us on here just yet? can we ping them or tag them? and push the Facebook hippies also into the AP convo?)


Randy Pence Tue 21 Jan 2020 4:04PM

A typical ported bass speaker has almost no directivity, so angling it will not have much difference. This is easily proven by walking behind it, where it will be almost just as loud.

Underworld has been at the bottom of a valley, nevermind a berm


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:59PM

It would be easiest for me if I saw the site in person and the proposed layout to advise on the placement of each sound camp in relation to one another. I would also need sound system specs for each camp to get an idea of what is coming on site. Last years sound camp data (if that's available would be a good start as I assume it will be some of the same systems), You can use all the math you want and if their sound system is very powerful its not going to make a big enough difference if people live in the immediate area. Or my skills are not to that point yet. If there is 50k watts of speakers on one system that can hit 25hz that's going to be hard to contain. If someone brings a Function 1 system on sight that is likely an issue or something similarly powerful and capable of reaching those low frequencies. I could piss off neighbors with two speakers easily dependent on the specs.


Jeff Spirlock Tue 21 Jan 2020 10:07AM

I would use math to address this situation. The distance frequencies can travel and when they become severely diminished is all math. The angles/directionality/placement of speakers combined with limiting the number of cabinets and overall wattage would create a much harder environment for sound camps to bother neighbors and it would make the overall situation easier to monitor once on site.

The more sound camps the more it sounds like a cacophony from outside the event. The overlap of all the varying frequencies gives me a migraine personally and I love loud music.

I love the idea of limiting the sound camps on what sound they bring on site so they spend more of their funds to bring other art. Maybe it will motivate some camps to combine for a different visual aesthetic. Collaboration is sexy :nerd:


Paul aka Khromo Mon 20 Jan 2020 7:16PM

I do know what to expect. I've been to about 20 burns over the last 5 yers in five different countries. And knowing what to happen was why I didn't go back last year and won't until the balance is readdressed and the compriomise of fewer hours of music and quite on-site times is found.

If someone absoltely postively has to have 18-20 hours of hardcore electrinic music, then I'd suggest they familiarise themselves with the principles of Burning Man and what a Burn actually is.

That or maybe go to a psytrace festival instead - there are many of them around.


Vlad Sat 18 Jan 2020 9:26AM

  • Silent burn is not the same experience and I am pretty sure none of us ever experienced a silent burn - I have not seen a silent burn and I was at Borderland 2018, staying with kids-ville and it was not silent, it was beautiful and full of music coming from everywhere.
  • Music is important, music at night is more fun than music over daytime for many different reasons
  • Last but not least - lack of sound systems wont stop the complaints, 1000 people celebrating the life are loud enough for people to complain.

[deactivated account] Fri 17 Jan 2020 10:45PM

Love this challenge for our sweet community!

My background, to give my comments a bit of weight: burner since 2011, big-time-big-soundsystem raver with 20 years of dancefloor experience. Been at all KiezBurns since the creation of this little beauty. Ran a medium-loundness sound camp for two years in a row.

My two (well, 7) cents:

  1. Last year was way too loud for me. I clearly remember standing at all three of the big bass dancefloors at some point, thinking "why the hell does this have to be so loud"? And where are all the people? My ears were ringing. I also clearly remember hearing the bass in my tent all-day-most-of-the-night-in-the-furthest-spot-possible - the parking lot! I also remember thinking that our internal agreement on curfew/sound levels was not respected (I did not have tools to measure, it was a feeling!)
  2. We had almost no art last year. My guess is, a lot of funds went to large dancefloors that yes, looked AWESOME, but no, dancefloors are not everything. They are actually a rather small part of a burn, if you look at it as a whole. And definitely not the soul of a burn. Of Fusion, yes, but a burn, no. I also found that big dancefloors were pretty empty - or not-at-even-half-capacity a LOT of the time.
  3. With the brilliant Dreamworld we have the proof that sound camps (or sound camp leads) can create so much more than just good sound. I pain to hear that by restricting (amplified electronic) music we will lose a big part of our community. That is very discouraging to hear. What kind of a community are we then?
  4. It's an opportunity to try something different. Having no sound systems would push our creativity and the variety of what we offer in 2020! Just think about the whole world of possibilities to tackle the challenge and get out of our comfort zone! This is burning - not dancing at yet another dancefloor!
  5. More intimate gatherings around smaller speakers (a.k.a. Till's living-room dancefloor idea) would be very cosy and we would have more ambience and interactions with each other on the 'tiny' dancefloor. My dream is that soon, all burners will be bored even of the Mayan Warrior. Let's be brave and step into the cosy-intimate-dancefloor-future.
  6. There is live music, theatre, cabaret etc. AND there is Silent Disco where we can have our favourite DJs banging it out ALL DAY LONG with no shortages of slots. Imagine 3 channels - that could be 3 DJs going in parallel. 5 channels = 5! So much goodness and you don't even have to run around like a headless chicken to check which floor has a better sound! (my personal FOMO failings ha ha) Think about all the time and energy you can save for workshops! ;) The secondary fun is finding the crowd dancing to the same sound to bounce together, but also connecting over mismatching beats/moves with the others.
  7. Being a neighbour with constant amplified noise is very hard. Even if it's for 'only' four days and nights - I can understand the complaints, even if the sound was at "accepted limit'. Because you can still hear that sound. The bass creeping into your windows.... You cannot hide from it. We need to receive & take in the complaints with grace.

With lots of love!


walto Thu 16 Jan 2020 2:04PM

My personal opinion is:
- I am OK limiting the sound and having less/no big sound spaces. So that makes Freiland for me a possibility (albeit at a different time than we had it)
- I am not so happy with Freiland saying we cannot have ANY electronic sound, which is the pre-requisite to holding the event at the same time at the same place. That means no small little boxes of music playing ANYWHERE. Sounds less fun to me and a horror to control that stuff.

@paulbradshaw is your proposal for NO electronic sound, and then lobbying to keep the date we had before. Or is your proposal to have electronic sound and lobby for another date @Freiland?

Possibly we could have a ranked choice or dot vote to see how important (louder) music is to people.


Purzel Tue 14 Jan 2020 5:42PM

I woud like to suggest that we have a poll with as many people as possible to gather inside on how the comunity feels about certain questions.

Is a completely quiet burn possible?
When would be the best time for quiet hours?
How many loud hours should be the minimium?

Can you think of more questions?


Quentin Mon 13 Jan 2020 7:58PM

The fact that Kiez Burn is a loud burn and is very rave oriented, is completely true. But like any other burn, it is what people in the community want to bring to it. And Kiez Burn being the main burn from Berlin, it is no big surprise that music in general and party has a very important place here..
Personally, I find it nice, very representative, and a unique value compare to other burns.
(I am not aware of other local small burns that have such a high quality & density of music stages - Structures/lights, sound, artists,...)

In an ideal world, without the Freiland issue, we would continue letting the community deciding how many stages/how long and how loud they should be. Altho, we can improve on the placement/loud-zones/communication to sound camps topic, to avoid some of last year problems, how 'ravy' Kiez Burn should be is a simple result of what people want to contribute with.

In the real world, if we go back to Freiland in 2020 with a low-volume policy as a must, the best solution might be to just limit the maximum size/power of sound system you are allowed to bring at Kiez Burn.
That way, we don't need to limit the amount of camps who want to play music, or the time, or anything, and let everyone brings what they fell like (They would just play much quieter music) . Where is that 'limit' is the most important to define = I guess that would be the result of a discussion with Freiland : Somewhere between Underworld sound system and a bluetooth speaker :)

What is sure is that a quiet/silent KiezBurn, would be the kind of complete opposite experience of what Kiez Burn has been providing so far. It will require some creativity for this year :slight_smile: And some deeper thoughts about the direction we wanna go for the coming years..


Erin Jeavons-Fellows Mon 13 Jan 2020 3:52PM

I am definitely in favour of creating something that doesnt involve 6 sound stages. BM was created around the art and we also def could invest more in this and less in massive sound systems. I would love to see more interactive expereinces
If Freiland agree to have us back which should be finalised next week in the location meeting (Thanks @janthomas + Freiland Location team ), then we can def investigate proposals or a combination of:

  1. minimising sound stages to 2-3
  2. Limiting sound volume overall
  3. Starting sound from midday and finishing at 10pm (?) during the weekdays
  4. One cocreated main stage on Saturday that could finish at 4am (?)
  5. Silent disco options
  6. More live music options

Some updates are on the location thread:


Saskia Mon 13 Jan 2020 1:00PM

My two cents:
a burn without music would take away big chunks of my favorite experiences and moments and it chips away at participation opportunities.

Yet, I am aware that non-stop loud music does the same to people who feel like they are less able to enjoy what THEY love most about the burn because the music disrupted their rest.

As far as I understood, going back to Freiland would mean ABSOLUTLEY NO big sound systems at all. Neither curfews nor decibel limits will satisfy Freiland, the city council, the amt or the neighbors enough to give us a permit. It's either no soundsystem or no burn at Freiland.
This is quite a massive cut and it would break my heart to see Kiez Burn staples like the Saloon, Zerzura or Underworld being ripped of their way to contribute. Also, of course, because I personally liked their contribution. But truly and honestly also because those camps are part of what gave Kiez Burn this very special Berlin vibe, which I love. We named it 'Kiez Burn' after the districts in Berlin, after all.

I would like to see a strong move and support for providing alternative solutions to bringing sound. May it be silent disco. May it be technical or structure-based solutions.

But yea. I'd miss music. Big time.

Edit: @paulbradshaw - Amazing thread title. Love it


Meghan Mon 13 Jan 2020 11:41AM

I'll add my voice in enthusiastic support of the quieter kiez burn idea! The summer is already full of music festivals of all sorts - I think it would be amazing to create something very different from those! 😍


CJ Yetman Sat 11 Jan 2020 4:16PM

Thanks for putting this here Khromo. Some quick thoughts from me...
- the sound complaints from neighbors that I’m aware of and remember came at early evening, late evening, and 0-1h-ish, but none that I know of at 4-6am. There may be unsaid factors that cause that to happen that way, I’m not sure, but as far as I know, no daytime complaints and no late night/early morning complaints.
- In regards to further restricting the hours when music is allowed, I’ve heard some people suggest having music only during the day so that they can sleep better at night, other people prefer to have music at night and not during the day so they can have a bit of break from it, and of course there’s the people that prefer music be playing all the time. I think this is fundamental to the difficulty in finding an agreeable compromise, some people prefer totally opposite things.
- To be completely honest, I think the complaints from neighbors were mostly bullshit, and they were just pissed about it in general so they wanted to stir shit up. I stood in those villages and took decibel readings just before and just after complaints came in, and it just wasn’t that loud. Yes you could tell something was happening in the distance, but it was barely recognizable as music, and if a car drove by at 25km/hr you couldn’t hear it at all over the wind coming off the car. In one area, I couldn’t get a legitimate reading because someone playing a radio in their barn nearby was significantly louder than anything coming from KB. Just to put those complaints into perspective a bit.