Sound Concept & Guidelines

Q Quentin Public Seen by 102

Hello, I am Quentin and I have been helping with organizing the sound and music related stuff for the Kiez Burn Community - outside of Freiland - in the past few years.

I volunteered this year to be the realizer for the Sound Concept at the Freiland event. If you wanna help out, let me know ! 

** The proposal below has been discussed with a small group of ‘experts’ consisting of the main sound camps of the past years and the site liaison team for KB21. We decided to bring it up to Talk now, so the thinking and decision process can be accessible to everyone.
Please comment, share your thoughts, propose your help, bring up ideas,..** 

Here you can find the final sound guidelines and the Kiez Burn 2021 site plan.

Other threads related to sound:

1/ Why do we need sound guidelines and what should we considered ? 

  • Freiland sound restrictions 

The objective is to keep good relationship with neighbours and with the land owners. 

Site liaison team is in direct discussion with them to make sure our sound proposal is fitting their requirements. 

  • Community wishes

Some people in the community expressed that there was too much music during the week.

Loudness wasn’t a problem for a majority of the community. The problem seemed to be more on how often/how long music was playing.

On the other hand, some people really want to be able to have a proper rave experience at Kiez Burn and really value that contribution. 

Those wishes above are based on different discussions I could read on Talk/Facebook as well as my memory of the 2019 census that was shared back then.

Addenda: what 2019 Census says about noise:

-Noise levels: 61% found them "just right", 26% "sometimes too loud", and 13% "waaaaayy too loud".

-"Noise overall was better this year, but there were a few camps that had lots to say about how much it sucked for them (Blanket Fort & Kinder Kiez)

  • AMT 

Official regulations about sound exist but are kind of senseless => Although the official Db limits were respected in the past years, both Freiland/neighbours and the some part of the community were rather unhappy with the outcome. 


CJ Yetman Mon 8 Mar 2021 10:35AM

I see some strange things in the proposal doc that is linked here.

1. Zone A as shown on the map excludes the area that was used previously by Zerzura, and that is used by Freiland as one its primary sound stages. That could be intentional, but that would be very surprising to me.

2. The description of Zone A says "Reference of last years : Underworld, Saloon", however the Saloon's location in 2019 is in what is shown as Zone B in the map.

(for reference, there is a Kieze map in the Site Leads documentation for KB19 here:


CJ Yetman Mon 8 Mar 2021 10:42AM

and some questions about the text in the description here

1.the decibel meters that must be placed in each sound camp: Who owns them / where do they come from? How are they used, i.e. do they have a large, illuminated display so that everyone near the site can see and monitor the levels, or are they a handheld version that someone knowledgeable needs to periodically check?

2. in terms of communication with rangers/site lead: How is that achieved? Will they have radios, and if so who provides them? Or will they need to commit to being in the DJ booth (or some obvious location) for the duration of their shift, or something like that?


Quentin Mon 8 Mar 2021 1:23PM

  1. Yes it is intentional. Zone A as presented has been defined by the group as the best area to have loud music.
    It is also supported by Freiland to rather use old Underworld/Süsskiez for louder music. Old Zerzura and Saloon have been identified as the most problematic.
    It is as well following the idea of having only 1 designated area for the 'Zone A', rather than loud music spread all around the site.
    It is obviously just a proposal at this stage and can be discussed.

    2. This is a 'reference' just in terms of volume and type of camps. Not about the location.


Quentin Mon 8 Mar 2021 1:27PM

  1. Ideally, I would imagine this being an investment from the KB Verein budget and/or the event budget. Not from each camp budget. Also allow to have the same device for all camps.
    Depending on price point of course, but I am not sure a display to allow everyone to check is necessary. Mostly the Stage manager must be able to check the volume.

    2. Yes I would imagine these people on shift staying around the stage/booth during their shift. Some kind of 'Stage Manager' that you can also see in most bigger burns and festivals.


Cris Wed 10 Mar 2021 12:48PM

Added the 2019 Census links and references to sound levels, and a link to 2019's talk discussion on the topic.


Paul aka Khromo Fri 19 Mar 2021 1:05AM

Howdy :)

I started the debate about music last year and, while it's unlikely I'll attend this year, I thought I'd put forward the point that came across in the debate that continuously seems to be missed :

The problem us not the decible level or the zones or the lack of haybsles. It is the hours.

This is a burn, not a tehno festival.

Suggestion should be something like : 0400-1200 silence. Small portable speakets at breakfast, fine obviously :) but you shouldn't be able to hear them two camps away.

1200-2000 moderate. Nice dance music, moderate volume. I can hear it 3-4 camps away but it's background noise and I can still concentrate on my art or workshop.

2000-0400 - go nuts. Whatever the neighbors will let you get away with. I'm in. I'll probably be dancing my ass off in front of the stage, and then you building it!

Times, not zones.


Kaliope Sun 21 Mar 2021 3:20PM

Back with some feedback from Freiland on your sound concept! The fact that there were complaints last time was largely due to the formerly used areas. Some camps turned up music at spots that were not properly shielded (by hills, trees, etc.). 

The biggest change requests to our concept are in the sound zones – B (for semi-loud sound) unfortunately isn’t possible. According to the Freiland crew, the neighbors can still hear even moderately loud music from there very clearly. For really loud “wegbassen”, it is essential that we limit ourselves to the “hollows”. For semi-loud, they recommend we should have a look at the Kinderkiez area. This means limited space for sound stages compared to our setup in 2019...

Let’s stick to the updated areas for "loud" and "semi loud" (updated graphic of suggested sound areas coming soon) and coordinate well! Not only because of limited space but also because of better communication flow about complaints and agreed sound levels, it's worth considering organizing the stages a bit more "centrally" this time? We still need to decide who will be in charge of “sound level management”: rangers? sound patrol? site/music leads?

Since we are planning with less burners at the moment (about 500 ppl.), it makes even more sense that music artists & stages find a good solution together. Less is more?

@CJ Yetman had previously suggested that more people participate who are not from sound camps. Shoutout to all burners: Tell us what you think! 🔥

@Roko The stages on both banks of the lake interfere with each other sound-wise – perhaps they could be shielded with hay bales. Freiland can possibly arrange contacts for buying or borrowing and gave these additional hints for material & strike: "hay rots better than straw, better don't open the string attached to hay cubes:) and rake off the leftovers afterwards."

@Quentin Thanks for all your energy and effort so far 💛 We will wait a little longer to register with the Amt, as nothing is being processed here at the moment due to the high workload and the current uncertain situation. This means there’s still enough time to adapt the sound concept.

If you have any questions, reach out to me, @Annette and @Jan Thomas. You can check out our protocol from the meeting with Freiland here (there are some more details).


Toma / Mon 29 Mar 2021 12:55PM

Seconded about the 'Saloon' – their sound levels were much higher than we expected based on their Zone allocation, which caused problems for our camp (Hammock Reactor).


Quentin Thu 8 Apr 2021 2:39PM

Thanks a lot Kate for the feedback from the meeting.

If I understand well and try to summarise, they want us to:

A- Centralise loud music in 1 single sound stage - >Old Underworld spot
(2 stages max but not so clear where else could be the 2nd one)

B- No moderate music allowed, except for one possible camp in the old Kinder Kiez area.

On the point A- I have the feeling it is kind of not really in line most of the principles of our community, being a decentralised event at all levels. But well, if that's the only solution, then let's do it this way :)

In case, we can have only 1 stage at KB this year, I believe it should be communicated to the whole community as soon as possible.I imagine some sound camps are starting to have ideas, are planning logistics, budget,ect,..

On the point B- It is a bit sad to hear that all camps like Schlampagne, Flow Camp, Musotopia, and all camps that used to have some moderate music can't exist anymore within those new sound restrictions.

Same as for the first point, let's try to communicate to the broader community asap so we avoid multiple camps planning ideas for music, art and all sorts of performances that they will have to cancel because of sound restrictions.

In the end, Freiland are the one defining the sound guidelines, so let's wait on there feedback about the areas they would advise and what's possible to do.

Again, I believe we should communicate those restrictions to the community and all camps and creators as soon as we can. Dreams platform is starting, Camps meetings are starting, so let's avoid disappointment.


Roko Mon 19 Apr 2021 8:15PM

btw. a friend wrote me that he has a top professional super busy friend, who knows stuff about sound and that he could ask in a fitting situation for a professional opinion on how to probably solve things. if this is still wanted by the community, we would need a formulated situation of the problem and a map of the area with altitude information, natural resources as well as the location of the surrounding houses etc. (as much info as possible)

so if someone has time for that...

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