PURPOSE OF SOUND POLICY
Electronic music and amplified sound are an integral part of BitF and contribute to its magic. Musical expression is valued and appreciated by the BitF community, provided it is done with respect and does not threaten the cohesion of the event. As the venue is an open space, bass travels multi-directionally and cannot be effectively contained with any structures. This is why cumulative and far-reaching effects of sound can potentially endanger the smooth functioning of the event. This sound policy is designated to protect both participants’ comfort and artistic freedom, while promoting a sustainable way to keep sound at desirable levels. We aim to ensure that all participants can choose to rest or enjoy amplified sound at their leisure, and that all the unique needs of our community members can be met.
Sound Lead- Member of the BitF team responsible for liaising with Sound Camps, approving set-up of amplified sound, and handling manners relating to sound.
Sound Marshal(s)- Members of BitF team who are entrusted to monitor amplified sound levels, ensure participants are not violating the sound policy, educate participants about why certain sound maximums are necessary at any given time, and enforce the sound policy laid out below.
Sound Camp- Registered Camps pre-approved to operate sound systems over 200 watts, and outside the general 12pm-9pm restriction.
Sound Camp Lead- Person(s) responsible for a Sound Camp’s amplified sound equipment and point person for the Sound Lead and Sound Marshal(s). The Sound Camp Lead is directly responsible for ensuring adherence to this policy.
Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary actions. Those disciplinary actions are outlined in the ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE section of this document.
1. Amplified sound is not permitted between 6 am and 12 pm daily, except for the Sound Camps pre-approved to do so. Sound Camps may not operate outside of their pre-approved hours.
a. Amplified sound between 6am-noon will be at a reduced decibel level.
2. A maximum power amplification of 200 watts (i.e. boom boxes, not PAs) is permitted throughout the venue. The following parties may exceed this limit:
a. Sound Camps, during pre-approved hours
b. Theme camps hosting sanctioned parties between 12pm and 9pm using a sound system. These Theme Camps may operate sound equipment over 200 watts for the duration of sanctioned events only.
3. Approved Sound Camps will be responsible for reporting their intended hours of operation to the Sound Lead before the event, as it will affect their placement. Sound Camp Leads will be responsible for ensuring their Camp operates within their approved hours.
4. Neighbors should talk to one another if sound becomes a problem and try to resolve the issue through direct communication. If you are unable to resolve issues through direct communication, please bring your complaint to a BitF Ranger at the Ranger Station, and someone will be sent to solve the issue.
5. There will be a “Quietest Zone” camping area. This zone is placed the farthest possible from Sound Camps and Theme Camps operating amplified sound. There is no amplified sound allowed in this zone, whatsoever. Any persons caught operating amplified sound in this area will have their equipment confiscated.
6. Amplified sound must end by 4am on Sunday July 21st. Failure to do so will result in power being cut from the camp.
7. There will be no amplified music onsite between the hours of 9pm and 10am before July 18th. After 10am July 18th, the above rules will be in effect.
Sound Camps will be placed based on their hours of operation, with Sound Camps intending to operate between 6am-noon the farthest from residential camping. Sound systems will be oriented away from residential camping areas in order to minimize noise bleed and contain volume.
Sound Camp Leads will check in with the Sound Lead prior to, and upon completing, set up of sound systems. Sound Lead will have final say on orientation of sound system set up.
If a sound producing entity is found to be in violation of the Sound Policy, the Sound Marshal(s), and/or Production Team will address the problem. All violations will be logged, available at the Ranger Station, and reviewed at each shift change.
1. Entities operating amplified sound without appropriate pre-approval are subject to the disabling and seizing of all equipment until the conclusion of the event.
2. Entities violating the Sound Policy will receive a first verbal warning and will turn their levels down to the levels set by the Sound Marshal(s), and/or Production Team
3. A second violation may result in a second verbal warning or the shutting down of the sound system for 24 hours, at the discretion of the Sound Marshal(s), or Production Team.
4. A third violation, and/or gross negligence regarding the Sound Policy will result in the violating sound source being shut down for the remainder of the event. If this occurs, the violating sound source will need to be removed from the event, and penalties may be applied to future attendance.
EMERGENCY SOUND ABATEMENT PROCEDURE
In the case of a complaint by a local resident/local official, or in the case of an emergency, it may be essential that amplified sound be quieted or turned off completely.
In the case that this happens, the Sound Marshal, Ranger(s), or member of the BitF Production Team will inform Sound Camp Leads to turn down their volume, or turn off their equipment entirely until such time that the issue has been resolved. Failure to comply may result in confiscation of equipment, and penalties applied to future event attendance.
COMMUNITY, SUSTAINABILITY, AND MUTUAL RESPECT
As a community, it is essential that we work together to keep sound at acceptable levels. Musicians, DJs, and sound based artists are an integral part of our community. Many sound artists spend countless hours preparing for their limited time on stage. Please respect their art whether you appreciate it or not. If you are sensitive to noise, consider wearing ear plugs, and/or camping in the Quietest Zone. If you are having sound related problems, please talk to your neighbors and attempt to resolve the issue amicably. Preferably, do not approach the sound artist directly in order to respect that they are mid-performance. Locate a Ranger or an on-duty Producer to discuss your concerns, and they will be happy to mitigate the issue on your behalf.