You found the perfect outdoor venue for your wedding, graduation or birthday party or another event. But the property manager says your event must end at 10 p.m. What a killjoy! No, not really. She/he is complying with local noise ordinances. Every city and many counties have a noise ordinance requiring loud music and other noisy activities, such as shouting, clapping or engine noise, to end at a certain time. The ordinance is for the benefit of neighbors who want to sleep or enjoy their own yards and homes without interruption from your event.
If you fail to comply, neighbors may call the police, who will abruptly shut down your event. Most DJs and many bands are aware of the need to comply. Asking them to stay later by offering to pay overtime is not an option. No one wants a ticket and to go to court for something that could be avoided.
If you desire your event to go later, then choose either an indoor venue or one offering indoor/outdoor options so music can be moved inside. Even then, you will probably have to comply with an end time. Hotels, country clubs and other venues must pay their employees to remain on site until your event ends so they can clean up for the next day’s event. They frown on paying overtime for employees to stand around while you party.
Another ordinance many people are unaware of is the need to keep streets open for emergency vehicle access. Should you hold your party at a home and guests park on both sides of the street, they may be ticketed or towed. This is a particular problem in smaller communities where streets are narrow. If off-street parking is not available, you may need to ask guests to park at a nearby school or church and offer shuttle service.
Bottom line – don’t be caught off guard when a police officer shows up at your event. Instead, be proactive and find out about any ordinances you may need to obey, particularly if you are holding your event in a smaller community. And respect the requirements of the venue. If the manager says you must end at 10 p.m., you must. You can always take the party elsewhere if your friends want to continue to party.