Sound is an integral part of Interfuse. Artistic expression through the medium of sound is highly encouraged and appreciated by the Midwest Burners community and organization, provided it does not threaten the event as a whole. Unfortunately, the cumulative and far-reaching effects of sound can potentially endanger Interfuse’s continued presence at any particular location. This sound policy is designed to protect the artistic freedom enjoyed by participants, prevent potential legal issues for Midwest Burners, and promote responsible sound usage.
Even if you do not use a big sound system, you will still have neighbors so please be mindful of the sound you put out.
Professional PA/Sound System Definition:
Any PA or sound system designed for a person to speak or emcee(MC) to a public audience, and/or amplify other audio content such as recorded music or the live sound of a band or DJ that uses a loudspeaker in excess of 100 watts.
PA/Sound System Usage
All camps intending to use a professional PA/Sound System must have it registered and approved for usage by the Event Coordinators prior to Interfuse. Sound System registration link can be found on the theme camp registration form. This year, there two categories for PA/sound system usage that can approved:
Light Duty – Intended for small PA systems only, with no dedicated sub-woofers, that are only used during the day (not past midnight) for background music and voice announcements that accompany an artistic performance that does not involve live musical acts. (DJs, & live bands for example). Camps that are approved for light duty PA are not as restricted in placement as a dedicated sound camp.
Sound Camp – A camp intending to use a large sound system with dedicated subs for live musical performances, including DJs and live Bands. If you must have dedicated subs, you must register as a sound camp and be approved for usage. The number of sound camps each year is limited once the limit is reached, no other sound camps will be permitted. Placement of sound camps and speaker direction will be decided by the EC’s & lead Sound Marshal so that sound systems do not interfere with another and to minimize external sound complaints.
If any participant brings an amplified professional PA/sound system that has not registered and has approval from the EC’s, they will not be allowed to use it. You can enter and not use it, or leave without refund.
Due to the increase in external noise complaints that have risen from the use of amplified sound systems at Interfuse over the years, decibel limits and other rules concerning amplified speaker use will be applied to all PA/sound systems for both light duty usage and sound camp usage. Enforcement of the sound policy by sound camps will primarily be handled by the Interfuse Sound Marshals.
Non-professional PA/Sound System Usage
Regular camps that do not use a professional sound system, such as small boomboxes, stereos, portable mp3 players, bluetooth speakers, and other small sound sources are all completely fine and can be used without registration. Just please be respectful towards your neighbors. Any conflicts or problems arising from sound from small sources will be addressed by the Interfuse Rangers.
Professional PA/Sound System Decibel Limits and Other Rules:
110dB – During the day
100dB – Midnight to 3 am
85dB – 3 am to 10 am
Speakers must be off ground!!!!
Levels are only measured by a decibel (dB) meter, approximately 50 feet in front of speakers in direction of sound. Any questions, find a sound marshal.
No speakers (especially sub-woofers) should be placed directly on ground. Speakers should be elevated off ground using stands, or other objects such as wooden pallets, to eliminate excess ground vibrations.
Note, sound limits may change without warning by EC’s in response to problems.
The sound marshals were created to keep an eye on sound levels from large amplified sound systems used by camps and thereby cut down on the amount of external noise complaints. They provide periodic sound checks (decibel levels ) for all camps that use professional PA/sound systems, educate participants about why certain sound maximums are necessary at any given time. These individuals are sound experts and are the first stop for sound related questions.
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)/Decibel Limits/Sound Limits
Numerical level developed from onsite testing. A specific SPL/Decibel limit will be in effect for various times all throughout the event; it is ultimately determined by the sounds marshals, EC’s, and Midwest Burners LLC and is subject to change at any time.
Sound Camp Leaders
Ideally, at least one person from each sound camp should be onsite to keep an eye on things, including sound levels. Sound Marshals we provide a placard to each sound camp, so they can write the name of whomever is in charge at that moment, in case Sound Marshals or Rangers need to address any problems that arise.
PA/Sound System Registration Form
Prior to the event, any camp wishing to use a professional PA/Sound System must register and get approval for usage using the Sound/PA system registration form linked on theme camp registration. Sound camp placement and direction of speakers is decided by the Event Coordinators, and will be published on the placement map. Signing the form acknowledges that the camp has read the sound policy, understands the terms and conditions of sound use, and agrees to comply fully with this sound policy.
All approved sound camps, will get inspected by a sound marshal ensuring that the speaker setup and direction is correct prior to starting.
Event Coordinators (EC’s)
The official organizers of the event. They will determine placement of all professional PA/Sound systems, and determine the direction that speakers need to face to control noise complaints. May decide other sound rules as needed.
Interfuse conflict mediators who facilitate the resolution of community disputes. Rangers will address and find solutions to disputes among participants, and from the use of small, non professional sound/PA systems. Rangers are empowered to act in the place of a sound marshal should one be unavailable and have access to a decibel meter. They also work in conjunction with sound marshals to enforce the sound policy as necessary, or resolve issues due to external (outside Interfuse) sound complaint(s) or internal (within Interfuse) sound complaint(s).
PA/Sound System Policy
No Interfuse participant may operate a professional sound system within the event boundaries of Interfuse without permission from Midwest Burners LLC. All amplified sound must strictly adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in the Interfuse Sound Policy. Every professional PA/sound system in excess of 100 watts must be registered and pre-approved by the EC’s to operate prior to the Event. A specific sound pressure limit (decibel limit) will be set prior to each year’s event and is subject to change at any time at the request of Midwest Burners LLC. Failure to comply with the Interfuse Sound Policy or failure to comply with explicit directives from Sound Marshals, Rangers, Event Coordinators, or the members of Midwest Burners LLC will result in disciplinary action as outlined in the procedure section of the Sound Policy. Decibel levels are designed to protect the event from external complaints. However, this level may not be appropriate at the event during certain hours of the day or in certain locations/situations. In the spirit of community, lower SPLs can and may need to be negotiated due to internal conflicts within the Interfuse community. These internal negotiations are expected to be fair and reasonable with utmost respect given to artistic expression while also taking into account the needs of the greater community.
Sound Problem Procedure
Sound Marshals roam the event and are available by radio. If no Sound Marshal is available, Ranger’s are authorized and empowered to operate in a Sound Marshal’s place, providing they have a decibel meter and have read and understood the sound policy.
Questions regarding the Interfuse Sound Policy or its enforcement are directed to the Sound Marshals on site. Sound Marshals are not only able to help adjust sound levels, but also provide technical advice for maintaining compliance.
The Sound Camp Leader or one of his/her representatives should be readily available at all times when the sound system is in use. The person in charge of a sound camp at any given time shall have their name written down on a placard provided by the Sound Marshals.
If there is a sound issue and a Sound Camp Sponsor or one of his/her representatives is not able to be found within 20 minutes, an on-duty Sound Marshal, Interfuse Ranger (If no Sound Marshals are available), or member of Midwest Burners LLC is authorized to lower sound levels or turn the sound source off as deemed necessary.
DJs & musicians are encouraged to have a second person present to monitor and dynamically adjust sound levels during their performance to comply with the levels for which they are authorized.
All sound camps operate at or under the event sound/decibel limits at all times.
Sound Marshals resolve minor decibel infractions by locating the on-duty Sound Camp leader and requesting appropriate changes be made.
If told to do so by a Sound Marshal, Ranger, or a member of the Midwest Burners LLC, a Sound Camp leader or his/her representative will comply with directives to turn down the sound.
Sound Policy infractions are recorded in the Sound Log and reviewed by the EC’s and members of Midwest Burners LLC as needed.
In the event of a formal noise complaint from an external source (outside of Interfuse), Sound Marshals and Rangers are dispatched to immediately drop the overall sound levels. This could mean anything from a slight drop in sound level to a complete silence of systems.
Sound Policy Enforcement
If a sound producing entity is found to be in violation of the Sound Policy, Sound Marshal(s), Ranger(s), and/or member(s) of Midwest Burners LLC address the problem.
Entities operating a professional PA/sound system without registering are subject to the disabling and seizing of all equipment until the conclusion of the event.
Entities violating the Sound Policy will receive a verbal warning and will turn their levels down to the levels set by the Sound Marshal, Ranger, and/or member of Midwest Burners LLC.
Sound Policy infractions are recorded in the Sound Log and reviewed by the EC’s and members of Midwest Burners LLC as needed.
A second violation may result in a second verbal warning or the shutting down of the sound system for a certain period of time, at the discretion of the Sound Marshal(s), Event Coordinators, or a member of Midwest Burners LLC.
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. If the Sound Camp leader is unwilling or unable to remove the sound source, the LLC will remove the sound source to a secure location for the remainder of the event with assistance from the Lead Sound Marshal, on-duty Sound Marshal, or Ranger, as required. Only an Event Coordinator or Midwest Burners LLC member is authorized to remove a sound source.
The Sound Camp leader is responsible for any accidental damage or theft that may occur if a sound source is impounded.
Emergency Sound Abatement Procedure
In the event that there is a formal complaint lodged by a local resident or a county official, event-wide sound will be dampened within 10 minutes.
To maximize response speed, the Interfuse Rangers will assist the Sound Marshals and the Midwest Burners LLC in communicating the situation to all sound producing entities.
Should this occur, all sound-emitting entities are required to immediately adjust their sound output as determined by the Sound Marshal(s), Ranger(s), or member(s) of Midwest Burners LLC.
Acceptable sound levels during emergency sound abatement will be much lower than during the event, and may be as extreme as silence in bass frequency ranges (“cut subs”), or possibly all frequencies (“cut sound”).
When emergency sound abatement procedures are concluded, decibel levels will likely need to be adjusted lower to prevent such an event from happening again.
How to deal with your Sound Camp neighbor:
DJs and other muiscal artists are an essential 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.
Bring ear plugs!!!! There are very few quiet places at Interfuse, except for the quiet camping area.
If you are having sound related problems, please talk to your neighbors and attempt to resolve the issue amicably. If necessary, involve a Ranger in the process.
If you have a problem with a sound camp, do not go directly to the DJ or perform to attempt to resolve the issue. They probably cannot hear you, but more importantly, they are performing. You wouldn’t interrupt an actor in the middle of a play; don’t interrupt a DJ in the middle of his/her set. Instead, locate the on-duty Sound Camp leader to discuss you concerns. Check the placard.
Discuss and listen. Express your concerns. Be respectful
PA registration will begin soon.