August 31, 2008
Say what?


(see also http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveOurSound/)

It’s become the sound of the English summer, as traditional as the crack of leather on willow or the buzz of lawnmowers: the chants of “Turn it up!” as yet another festival is forced to inflict duff sound on its audience.

It’s all down to the increasingly draconian decibel limits set by local councils as part of the licensing restrictions. All it takes is a bit of wind or a reflective cloud for the order to go out to reduce the volume or cut certain frequencies (destroying sound quality) or else the festival is shut down.

This happens because of regulations brought in to protect local residents. But the balance is clearly wrong when the views of just one or two residents can trump those of 100,000 festivalgoers, most of whom are working year-round for that one weekend when they can let their hair down. And when even a major event like Reading Festival had to bow to the mighty god Elfnsafety, we decided it was time to take a stand.

So we’ve started the Turn It Up! petition to try and get the balance restored to something realistic. Please take the trouble to sign up – and please pass the message on to your friends and post the link where you think it will be useful. Thank you.

6 Comments for this entry

  • nick says:

    Have you thought of doing a petition on the official no.10 pettition website? http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/

    It will have more umph probably if enough people sign it and more people may come across it to sign it.

  • Sperge says:

    I’m afraid I completely disagree. The number10 petitions website is a well-known repository of lost causes. See my post on this at http://www.ravetalk.co.uk/forum/turn-the-festival-sound-petition-t6186.html#p90396

    The purpose of the petition at this stage is as much to draw together like-minded individuals in a common cause as it is to persuade those in authority. They rarely take much notice of petitions on their own (take that one on road charging signed by two million people for example). The former is much more important IMO – and you totally lose that by going on the No 10 website as you have no way of updating people on how the campaign is progressing.

    I dispute that it would get more oomph on there anyway. The last such petition I saw on there managed 28 signatures by this August after being on for a whole year. We’ve already broken the 100 signatures on the first day of the petition in quiet season and it’s barely been promoted yet.

    Please let’s stick to the one campaign, now that one has been launched.

  • Sperge says:

    Just to update on this, I’ve decided to submit a petition to the number10 website anyway. It’s currently awaiting approval (there you go – you have to seek their approval for even putting one up! 😉 ).

    The objections I wrote above still stand. But I recognise that not everyone is going to want to sign the Ravetalk petition although they may sign an ‘official’ one.

    I’ll give the URL as soon as it’s approved (it shouldn’t be rejected, it meets all their criteria). But I’d urge people to sign BOTH. Remember that ours enables you to add a comment, which the Number10 one doesn’t. Also we can update you on any developments in the campaign (and for absolutely NO other reason).

    At the time of posting this comment, the Ravetalk petition stands at 245 signatures:

  • Sperge says:

    The govt website one has now been approved:


    Please sign and circulate!

  • nick says:

    That cool, totally understand your points behind initially not wanting to do the no10 one do agree like most of this gov’ts initiative its a load of bull but maybe worth a go.

    I’ll sign the no10 one now and forward the link around.

  • billy says:

    i was camped within two fields of the main stage at Shamania this year and couldn’t hear a single sound from the site this year. extreamly disappointing sound levels, so much so that i do believe that we will no longer visit UK festivals, it’s just not worth it!!