Feb 16

Elton John 2023 Event Noise Monitoring Report

Thursday 16 February 2023 5:35pm



Monitoring of noise levels at sensitive receptors in the area surrounding McDonald Jones Stadium was undertaken during the 2023 Elton John Concert Series (including sound checks and rehearsals) on the 8th and 10th January 2023, to determine compliance with the following noise criteria defined in the site's Noise Management Plan (NMP):


'During sound test(s), rehearsal(s) and concert(s), Leq measured at the monitoring locations will not exceed:


Energetic Average Level of Amplified Music Noise:


•Noise Limit: LAeq,5-minute of 70 dBA

•Noise Limit: LCeq,5-minute of 85 dBC


Additional Considerations:


An exceedance of the noise level limit by a maximum of 5 dBA and/or 5 dBC during a single five (5) minute period during the first ten (10) minutes of the performance of each new act will not be taken to be a breach of the limits.


Noise levels measured when wind speed exceeds 5 m/s (at microphone height) should not be used to measure compliance with noise limits in the Notice, as wind generated noise may limit measurement accuracy. During periods of wind greater than 5 m/s Venues NSW must continue to take all reasonable and feasible actions to minimise noise.’


It is noted than an option for review of average maximum noise levels is provided in the NMP, however due to the dynamic nature of a vocal performer and live band, the energetic average is more appropriate (repetitious bass, such as electronic dance music, are more suited to review of Lmax levels).


Throughout the monitoring, noise levels were recorded every five minutes, and observations were made as to the source of noise and potential exceedances at each location. The noise level recorded represents the energetic average noise level across the five-minute period. Hence, even where exceedances are identified it is possible that extraneous noise was causing or contributing to the relevant levels and event noise levels at the receptors may have been compliant with the NMP criteria. Where possible live observations of typical ‘live’ sound pressure levels are also completed, as well as correlation to levels at the mixing desk.


Throughout the sound-checks, rehearsals, and event, the noise monitoring staff provided live feedback to the FOH operators if adjustments were required to maintain compliance. It was noted that the mixing desk operators allocated a point of contact for noise monitoring staff to liaise with, this point of contact was responsive to the discussion of noise levels, and potential to reduce volumes or adjust the system as required.


During the system, line, and sound checks on Sunday 8th January (intermittently from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm) monitoring was completed to confirm compliance and to determine if adjustments to the sound system were necessary to achieve compliance. Noise levels were below established criteria throughout the testing, with no measured exceedances occurring during the soundcheck, including during the loudest anticipated song. Any necessary adjustments to the sound system were programmed into the set by the FOH operators based on advice from the Event Monitoring staff. During line checks on the 10th January no significant events occurred.


During the main show of Sunday 8th January, it was identified early that significant dBA (vocal and instruments, but less bass) levels were impacting the monitoring Position 1 to the rear of the stage. Interrogation of the levels identified that a side hanging speaker array, and the on-stage monitors (facing rearward for the performers) were the most likely contribution to these levels. Re-alignment and a significant reduction to the volume of these speakers was successful in reducing the dBA levels at Position 1 to the criteria.


Levels at Position 2 and at FOH remained within the criteria and recommendations throughout the event, with only a single track reaching the FOH recommended dBA level at 9:00 pm. All amplification associated with the show concluded at 21:27 pm.


During the main show of Tuesday 10th January, the opening track at 7:00 pm was identified as louder than the previous show, and an adjustment to the general operating volume (-2 dB) was immediately programmed for the rest of the show, with minor excursions (<2 dB) of the target FOH criteria occurring on 4 more occasions (8:25 pm, 8:45 pm, 8:55 pm, and 9:00 pm). Generally the volume was well controlled, and followed a similar pattern to the show of the 8th January. It is anticipated that slightly higher winds may have elevated levels slightly. The show concluded at 9:25 pm.


A detailed report providing the monitoring methodology, monitoring analysis, and weather observations will be provided in the required timeframe and review the success of the FOH limits on achieving the off-site noise criteria.


All amplified event noise concluded at well ahead of the requirements of the Noise Management Plan.


No formal complaints were received during the monitoring.

  • McDonald Jones Homes
  • Ticketmaster
  • Newcastle Knights
  • Newcastle Jets
  • City of Newcastle
  • Venues NSW
  • CommBank Stadium
  • McDonald Jones Homes Stadium
  • Newcastle Entertainment Centre
  • Accor Stadium
  • Sydney Cricket Ground
  • Allianz Stadium
  • WIN Sports & Entertainment Centre