Band Month: How Loud is a Function Band?

April 16, 2012


 In a recent blog, we discussed Band options for outdoor events where acts are required to be unamplified, but what about when it comes to indoor venues with sound restrictions? Plenty of London's best corporate event venues have sound restrictions in place for entertainment. Sometimes this is because they are in a residential area, other times it's due to running multiple events concurrently. Either way, it means that if a band or act exceed a certain volume in decibels, the sound limiter will be triggered which can mean anything from the power being cut off to a slap on the wrists from the venue's events coordinator.

The words 'sound restrictions' are usually followed by a sharp intake of breath, though maybe that shouldn't be the case. After all, if someone tells you a venue has a sound restriction of 79 decibels - does that mean anything without any context? What is 79 decibels? How loud is a band? How loud is just a guitar? How loud am I being right now?

To help put things in perspective here's our handy visual guide to decibels...

Super Awesome Sound Ruler Courtesy of Sarah... Thanks Sarah

So where do Bands fit in to this? Well it depends which band. World record adjudicators Guiness no longer recognise 'Loudest Band' records for fear of encouraging hearing damage but the current 'Loudest Band in the World' are 80s faux-metal dragon warriors 'Manowar' who recently wrestled the dubious title back from now defunct punk outfit Gallows with a souncheck that reached an ear splitting 139db.

In reality though, few bands dabble with anything approaching the Manowar's record. A normal function band will usually reach somewhere around 110db with most able to accomodate sound limits of around 85-95db. Obviously sound levels depend on a range of things including instrumentation, the size of the band and also noise from the crowd which contributes to decibel levels. 

If you're interested in booking a band for an upcoming event or if you'd like to discuss decibel limits for entertainment at venues, get in touch! We love that sort of thing. Apparently.