Sat 11 Jan 2020 10:32AM

The Sound of Music - Proposals

PAK Paul aka Khromo Public Seen by 175


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. :)


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.


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.


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...


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.

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