Allianz Stadium To Face Selective Noise Restrictions At Certain Shows

9 November 2023 | 3:23 pm | Ellie Robinson

The Environmental Protection Authority argues the NSW Government didn’t account for “intrusive noise” in expanding the stadium’s yearly allowance for concerts.

Allianz Stadium

Allianz Stadium (Source: Allianz Stadium)

Allianz Stadium – the newly refurbished, $828 million mega-venue with a concert capacity of 45,500 – will soon have permission from NSW Government to host significantly more concerts than it currently can. But there’s a big asterisk involved.

At the present, bookers for the Eora/Sydney stadium have approval to host six live music events every year (with an average of four being held each year over the past five). The city’s music industry professionals have long argued that such a maximum is unrealistic, and the government agrees: May saw premier Chris Minns announce he would raise the allowance up to 20 gigs a year. But locals to the area haven’t fully warmed to the shift, and the state’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has argued that the government failed to account for the “intrusive noise” those locals will have to deal with.

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, locals have voiced concerns over the increase in noise, traffic and parking complications that more concerts would bring to Moore Park. 132 public submissions have thus far been fielded, with 106 of them – a vast majority – objecting to the proposed change (while 19 supported it and seven were neutral).

In an effort to compromise, the government’s motion proposes that Allianz Stadium will be subject to selective noise restrictions at some concerts. It currently has a limit of 70 decibels for all six of its allowed concerts, and if the venue is allowed to up their cap to 20 shows a year, five of those would have to measure in at three decibels quieter (so 15 gigs can hit the 70dB limit, with the other five restricted to 67dB). This, consultant Arup argues, “represents a perceivable reduction in noise, considered a level of reduction which could be accommodated by international event promoters”.

Certain events would have stricter restrictions imposed on them. The annual Mardi Gras afterparty, for example, would be limited to 60 decibels during its peak performance hours (between 2am and 6am). Next year’s event will be held at the considerably smaller Hordern Pavilion, but a move to Allianz Stadium has been rumoured.

In a statement published by the SMH, a spokesman for Steve Kamper – NSW’s Sport, Property and Lands Minister – said the government backs the proposed cap increase for concerts held at Allianz Stadium, and is willing to “listen to concerns and propose reasonable solutions”. Referencing the aforementioned Mardi Gras restriction, the unnamed spokesman said, “We think it is reasonable to ask people to turn down the volume a little at 2am.”

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Earlier in the year, Kamper himself proudly expressed his keenness to see Allianz Stadium host more live music. “We’ve seen record crowds roll through for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and now is the time to continue the momentum by removing this concert cap and working with all the major concert promoters to bring the biggest and best music artists and shows to Sydney,” he said in August.

“We need to put the entertainment back into the entertainment precinct. Sir Paul McCartney will play two shows at Allianz Stadium in October, that’s 50 percent of the stadium’s yearly allowance. We need to unlock this stadium, we want to see as many NSW residents as possible enjoying this world class venue.”

Also backing the change was NSW’s Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham, who said: “Our goal is to bring live music back to NSW. The state lost half of all music venues over the last decade and we are addressing this. There could not be a bigger symbol of where the new government wants to head than lifting the concert cap.”