A Fully Sanctioned Burning Man Regional

Sound Policy

10 AM – Midnight: 80 dB(A)  @ 100 ft.

Midnight – 10 AM: 70 dB(A)  @ 50 ft & subwoofers off

TL;DR:  Amplified, projected or otherwise man-made noise or music shall be permitted between the hours of 10am and 12am . Beginning at 12:01am, all subwoofers (any device capable of emitting sound below 100HZ) shall be turned off and the sound shall be no louder than 70db(A) at a distance of 50’ from the source of the sound, or at the Access Area boundary, if the boundary is closer than 50’ to the source. Sound shall be no louder than 80db(A) at other times, when measured at 100’. with a national commercially accepted Sound Level Meter or SLM.(Type S2A)

I.  Purpose

Once upon a time, we were far enough away from the rest of the world that we were provided some insulation from worrying about how our event impacted the community around us. Over time Playa del Fuego has found itself with a variety of neighbors who have a variety of tolerance levels for sound playing 24 hours a day. PDF has joined the list of regional events that are trying different measures and sound policies in order to find the right balance between the needs of the Burners who come to PDF and the community around the event. The Playa del Fuego (PDF) Sound Policy is intended to protect the longevity of PDF events by establishing standards for the control of noise pollution extending beyond the boundaries of said events.

II. Scope

This policy applies to any individual, group, instrument, or device (instrument, installation, speaker system, generator, etc.) producing audible or sub-audible sound within and during a PDF event.

III. Restrictions

  • All sound at PDF events shall be limited to a predetermined decibel (dB) level, measured at either 50’ or 100’ from the source of the sound, dependent on the time of day, as follows:
    • 10 AM – Midnight: 80dB(A)  @ 100 ft.
    • Midnight – 10 AM: 70dB(A)  @ 50 ft. & subwoofers off
    • No amplified sound 30 minutes prior to the effigy burn event and during the duration of that event until the all clear is given. 
  • The use of electronically amplified sound between the hours of 12 AM and 10 AM shall only be permitted to those approved by the Sound Marshall and/or Sound Committee prior to the event through the Sound Camp Application on the PDF Website.
  • The use of subwoofers, woofers, or any device capable of producing sound at or below 100Hz is not permitted between the hours of 12 AM and 10 AM
  • Open camping areas are designated as Quiet Camping. The use of generators, loud musical instruments (horns, drums, etc.), or any other disruptive sound generation is not permitted between the hours of 12 AM and 10 AM.

IV. Roles

  • The FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors (BOD): The FPCS BOD has ultimate authority to turn down or off any and all sound as deemed necessary for the security of the event.
  • The Sound Coordinator is responsible for PDF wide compliance with the Sound Policy and has the authority to turn down or off any and all sound as deemed necessary, with deference to members of the BOD, or to a quorum of the BOD if the Sound Coordinator is a member of the BOD.
  • Sound Sponsors: Camp Leaders, individuals designated by a Camp Leader, or an individual bringing amplified sound to a PDF event responsible for sound levels generated by their sound system who will remain readily available within earshot of said system while it is in use.
  • Sound Patrol: The Sound Patrol are volunteers tasked with enforcement of the above restrictions during a PDF event with the authority to temporarily turn down any sound causing a perceived violation of the sound policy, reporting as necessary to the Sound Coordinator for further intervention or policy dispute resolution.
  • PDF Attendees: Any attendee of a PDF event who perceives a violation of the Sound Policy from an individual or camp may invoke “The Sound Rule,” as described in the Procedures section below.

V. Procedures

  • The Sound Rule​:
    Anyone who suspects another individual or camp is in violation of the Sound Policy and may pose as a disturbance to the event’s neighbors or attendees may approach them with their concern. If satisfactory action is not taken to correct the issue, please report the issue to the Sound Patrol, Sound Coordinator, FPCS BOD member, or Ranger (such that they may contact the responsible parties by radio) as quickly as possible.  
  • Any camp or individual who wishes to have amplified sound between the hours of 12 AM and 10 AM must apply through the Sound Camp Application form on the PDF Web Page before the Theme Camp Placement deadline. The Sound Coordinator and their designees may limit the number of approved applications as they see fit.

VI. Enforcement

  • Individuals and Camps are required to comply with any Turn-Down or Turn-Off order as made by a member of the Sound Patrol, the Sound Coordinator, or a member of the FPCS BOD. This order may be made for any reason from Sound Policy violations to formal complaints lodged against the event from local residents or county officials.

VII. Sanctions

Sanctions for violations of the Sound Policy may include, but are not limited to: Turn-Down or Turn-Off orders lasting anywhere up to the remainder of the event, removal of the offending sound source from the event, prohibition of the sound source from future events, or immediate eviction of one or more individuals as deemed necessary by the FPCS BOD.