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Swedish promotor fined over Deep Purple sound levels

A Swedish promotor in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been fined by the local authorities for not being able to keep sound levels at legal limits. One of the shows this summer that reached an illegal level was the Deep Purple show at Trädgår’n in Gothenburg where the band played at an average of 102 dB. The allowed decibel level for concerts held in Sweden and much of Europe is an average of 100 dB with peaks at 115 dB. Lower volumes are allowed for concerts where children under 13 are present (97 dB and 110 dB respectively).

Sources: Swedish, English

44 Comments to “Swedish promotor fined over Deep Purple sound levels”:

  1. 1
    james jay says:

    once the loudest band in the world. what did they expect?

  2. 2
    kraatzy says:

    Hee, Hee, Hee ………. Eeeeaaaooouuwww!

    Hey authorities in Sweden: That IS Rock ´N´Roll !!

    Yeah – LLRnR


  3. 3
    George says:


  4. 4
    stefan says:

    Sweden is probabaly the most politacal correct country in Europe, and have assigned themselves to lecture the rest of the world what´s right or wrong!

    On the latest Lynyrd Skynyrd album there´s a song called “This ain´t my America”……I feel the same way `bout Sweden, luckily I fled the country almost 20 years ago to get away from these “talebans”! They do however start to gain influence and showing their ugly heads here in Denmark as well!

    It´s my decision and responsibility to go to a gig and protect my ears or not……not the states or some geeky stiff from the city council!

    What happened to the good old days when it was ones own problem if you got wasted & deaf at a gig??? When it was OK to smoke at all gigs without some “taleban” 20 meters away giving you “the look”???

    I´m so happy that I have experienced those good old days without so much interference from the “politcal correct mafia”!

    I want personal resposibility back in everbodys life…..as well as my country ! F**K the “Talebans” and cranck it up……IF IT´S TOO LOUD…..YOU´RE PROBABLY TOO OLD ANYWAY !!!!! ROCK ON !

  5. 5
    Chrissy says:


  6. 6
    David McCrory says:


  7. 7
    Drdp says:

    If it’s TOO LOUD…………. WE ALL KNOW THE REST!!!!!! Regards,Drdp

  8. 8
    Al Cornish says:

    So, they a pay a guy to monitor decibels?
    If I had that job, I’d say Purple is playing too soft.
    Turn it up to 11.

  9. 9
    Luiz Bezerra says:

    “Can we have everything louder than everything else?”

  10. 10
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Well, because this topic is about DP and their sound it is ok to drag all kinds of things into the thread without sanctions by THS?!

    My opinion then

    I dont think, never did btw, that it was necessary to get blown away by often a distorted ugly sound just because the band plays heavy rock

    I also welcome the smoke restriction because I do like to inhale healthy air instead of the remanants of someones addiction

    Saying that people who have a problem with your egocentric behaviour are childish or some kind of fascists to me is very stupid and immature and or unwise.

    Saying that someone is too old when he or she is complaining about too much volume is a , by now anyway, very old and stale joke.

    I had this opinion on sound when I was 14, the same apllies to my thinking on health issues related to social responsibility.

    Cheers, Mark

  11. 11
    Crimson Ghost says:

    I guess I can pull out my earplugs and cough now? lol!

  12. 12
    T says:

    “This band’s been called the loudest band in the world. They didn’t say they are the BEST band in the world. So put your hands together please…BURN WITH DEEP…PUR-PLE!!!!”

  13. 13
    Rascal says:

    Average of 102db !!

    Pain doesnt begin until 125db!!

    Your ears dont begin to die until 180db!!

    Of course these values are approximate and depend on many factors…………But hey its ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ so let the Mamby Pamby Brigade worry about that!

    Crank up that volume Sweden!

    Political correctness gone mad!!

    You can run but it seems you cant hide from the ‘Thought Police’……………..

  14. 14
    stefan says:

    Dear Priest!

    Your response doesn´t surprise me at all……I wonder why…..Ahh, well !
    Take care Priest!

  15. 15
    George says:

    btw, as I guess, Dp were near to repeat their own record (117 decibels) of “the loudest band”, as in 1972, when Guiness put them into the book

  16. 16
    Joanna says:

    Well… yes, the fans are right, it isn’t nice to be punished for sound, but on the other hand: think of your ears. It isn’t nice to become deaf… 😉

  17. 17
    DAWG says:


  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 13

    I should not commit myself to anything resembling 1408 but……

    Thought Police?

    What are you talking about?!

  19. 19
    Mike Eriksson says:

    Hard rock should be loud, but there is a limit. I saw Yngwie Malmsteen once in the 90´s and it was so loud that I couldn´t hear a single note of his soloing. It was just a mess. And I was wearing earplugs at the time.

    Still, don´t like political correctness of any kind and this is just another example of such things.

    Is it really a problem? Rock concerts I mean. I never went to see Yngwie again…


  20. 20
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 14

    As far as I am concerned EVERYONE should take care for their health.

    I think its insane to have to use earplugs
    Just because some childish thought about rock and roll and high levels of sound!!!
    Or what about an inapt soundengineer who ruins a show because of his stubborn ideas or ears gone to hell.

  21. 21
    Simple Simon says:

    i think its very irresponsible of these guys here to just laugh it off. with music on mobile players everywhere and loud concerts, hearing loss is a wide spread problem nowadays. I, myself have spend 10 days in a hospital after my first purple concert to treat it. have been wearing ear plugs ever since. being a musician myself i cant afford let that happen gain. it would be nice to see promoters and venue owner care more about this issue

  22. 22
    Gary says:

    I’m assuming this was an outdoor concert ? Possibly near a residential neighborhood ? Then, I can see the fine, especially if residential neighbors complained. That’s a LOT of db’s. That goes for any band, not just Deep Purple.

    I like a LOUD rocking concert just as much as the next guy, but some concerts are just too damn loud to be enjoyable, or decipherable.

    I remember one concert I attended at Madison Square Garden in New York in the 1970s. You couldn’t even figure out what song the band was playing a lot of the time until maybe half-way through.

    Rock and Roll is meant to be played LOUD AND PROUD, but even the best can overdo it at times.

  23. 23
    Crimson Ghost says:


    Ah Priest… I agree concerning ‘health’ factors, so does my wife the liscensed therapist. Good Healthcare is always important, it’s just not always practiced.

  24. 24
    Rascal says:

    Their is a difference between being loud and being distorted……….

    @18 Thought Police : The enforcement of ideological correctness. Employed to locate/eliminate members of a society who are capable of the mere thought of challenging ruling authority. George Orwell. 1984.

    I guess some people just prefer to live in a ‘Nanny State’……

    TURN UP THE ROCK………………….

  25. 25
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 19

    Hi Mike

    It was perhaps the INSPIRATIONS tour around 1996?
    I saw him with Marc Boals as a singer, still with whig hehehe, in Paradiso, Amsterdam…….and indeed it was way toooooooooooooooooooo loud!!!!
    That combined with his style was , to say the least, a very energy consuming experience.

    Personally I had to get into hospital in 2003 after a Mothers Finest gig in Utrecht.
    Great band and so on but……really…..PAIN IN MY EARS instaed of just a buzzing sound for days was kinda confronting and very frightning.

    I got tested…..
    The results…..
    I had lost important HIGH and….
    Them saying….
    Well, apart from that HIGH….you have kinda tough ears concerning your history in ROCK gigs…..

  26. 26
    Bruce Dean says:



  27. 27
    Mike Eriksson says:

    I agree there should be limits. But Deep Purple are not that loud today. I have never had a problem with DP (didn´t see them in the 70´s I should add). So the question here is – did they for some reason play a little louder than usual on this night, or would the organisers here get busted on any given night due to the existing law? Sweden Rock Festival had problems this year as well. It would be interesting to hear the band comment on this issue.


  28. 28
    Speed King says:


    The thing about the concert in Gothenburg was that it was an open air concert in the middle of the city. That’s one of the reasons there was a limit. A limit the promoter was aware of.

    Imagine yourself beeing surrounded by a bunch of screaming ‘talebans’ where you rest your head today. Would that be ok with you? Would that be “It´s my decision and responsibility…and protect my ears or not”?

    You also say; “I want personal resposibility back in everbodys life”. Well, in my world, if I promote a concert in a park between houses where thousands of people live, following noise level limits is to be responisble!

    The choose of venue for this type of event can be questioned. There are several other nice open air areas nearby wehere there are no houses close by. Less than 15 minutes walk there is a harbour area where there is an annual two day metal festival in the summer. Perfect for this type of concerts.

    Why Purple played at Trädgårdföreningen was probarbly for pure economical reasons. Around the corner of the park is the Heden football ground where there was a huge tournament that week. Thousands of people there who could decide to pop in on spure of the moment.

    I was at that concert. The major problem that night was not the noise level as I see it. The problem was a band that did what they did on routine, acting as that ‘cabaré act’ Gillan once said he didn’t want the band to become.

    /Speed King

  29. 29
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @Mike: The organisers anywhere could be fined for any gig in any town. The rules are the same all over Sweden. It’s just that some towns are better than other at keeping track of how the rules are followed.

    @Speed King: The sound level limits are the same outside and inside.

  30. 30
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Rules are often very reasonable untill the moment one has to obey them.

  31. 31
    Speed King says:

    Svante and Mike,

    True that the limits are the same indoor or outdoor. Also true that Sweden have rather restrictive limits.

    The 100dB limit can sometimes be very difficult to follow, especially for very small indoor venues as some percussions can give away a noise level above 100dB, and that is an acoustic instrument! The sound engineer need to balance up any other amplified instruments to match that percussive level and may end up breaking rules just by doing his/hers job.

    For large outdoor concerts the engineer need to put out a signal loud enough to reach also people at the back, far away from the stage, too. This will also easily make the noise level measured close to the PA speakers too loud for the Swedish limits.

    There are many ways to work around these issues. For indoor performances the stage area and the rest of the venue need to be built so the on stage noise do not get amplified/reflected by the acoustics of the actual building. For outdoor concerts an extra set of speakers placed behind the mixer pointed to the people at the back would do the job as the sound engineer doesn’t need to crank it up that loud from just one source.

    And if you ask me (and I have several years of experience from promoting small venue concerts) the overall experience will be much better for all involved if the noise level is a notch just below 100dB in combination with PA speakers placed where do the job best. For indoor concerts it should also be combined with lots of sound absorbing material in the ceiling and on the walls.

    Anyone with at least a little imagination can figure out where the ‘problem’ really is. My qualified guess is; (same as elswhere!) money and attitude! If it’s cheaper to pay a fine compared to put upp more (or better) speakers, then ‘they’ will most likely choose the fine. Simple as that!

    /Speed King

  32. 32
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    I guess this is where the term….”See what I’m sayin’?” came from. When one has to look at the lips moving in order to ‘hear’ what is said…..

    Politically correctness is basically when a person try’s to figure out a way to pick up a turd by the less smelly end, and pass it to the next guy by way of the same less smelly end.

    This event reminds me of the time I saw Purple in Chastain Park, near Atlanta, Georgia. They were restricted to the point that Gillan made the remark…”Welcome to the Tea Party”. The sound was nice and clear though, yet definitely need some more ‘Umph’…

    This also reminds me of the selfish pricks who by a house near the Air Port at a good price..(duh), and then begin to bitch to the authorities about the noise that the Air Planes make and how disturbing it is….The Air Port was there first, same as with most of the Outdoor Amphitheaters. But as time goes by, people are sold houses nearer and nearer to the venue and then due to the numbers game, they bitch and ruin it for the Concert Goers because they were stupid enough to by a house near the Noise……


  33. 33
    Gary says:

    I’l agree with you Tracy on some points.
    However, there are Noise Ordinance Laws that pertain to most outdoor amphitheaters.
    If the limits are acceptible ( I won’t even try to define ‘acceptible ‘ in this case ) there shouldn’t
    be any problems.

    Just like there are speed limits on most highways around the world.

    There has to be responsibility. If a band is a couple of dbs over, I’ll agree with you, but if it’s significantly over the
    limit, well…

  34. 34
    Mark Linham says:

    Some of this may be redundant, but usually HARD ROCK concerts here in the United States are from 130, on the *low* end to upwards of 150 dB SPL. Compared to that, 100 to 110 – or even lower – is not loud at all. 100 to 110 dB SPL is, however ALOT safer for most people’s ears!

    A really elegant solution which works like gang-busters is simply to wear earplugs when attending ANY electronically-amplified music show.

    The best ones are those soft foam kind that are rated to average a 35-dB attenuation across the audible sound frequency spectrum. These reduce the sound level by upwards of 49 dB through the mid-high to highest frequencies, where most of the hearing damage can occur.

    Another great thing about these plugs is that you can still hear normal conversation (not whispering) through them (if your hearing is still reasonably good), so you can just put them in and forget ’em!

    You want to remove them at least once a day to air out and clean your ear canals to avoid getting an ear infection!

    I only use ethel (that’s the drinking kind) of alcohol to disinfect my own ears after having these in for a while.
    And you should only put them in using very CLEAN hands (for obvious reasons).

  35. 35
    Mark Linham says:

    Postscript: I agree that in most rock-concert situations, it is fascistic for a government to dictate SPLs (Sound Pressure Levels); that is, where *indoor* concerts are involved. Outdoor shows may sometimes be treated differently because of the occasional potential for disturbing businesses and residences when a sound amplification system is outdoors.
    But for the most part it should be possible in most indoor venues to crank it up as much as the band / audience / whomever wants without disturbing anyone who is not involved.
    In these cases the government should not interfere.

    An individual has to make a decision: if my ears are hurt by very loud noise (and they are), I must either not attend the show or plug up my sensitive fragile ears if I just MUST be at the show.

    I love rock, but I want to actually be able to HEAR it all my life, even if I live to 150 years.

  36. 36
    Katya says:

    Typically Swedish! I’ve been to a few Purple concerts this year including this one, and this wasn’t any louder than anyone of the others. Rockn’ roll should be loud, that’s why we love it.(I’ve been standing at the front several times – no ear plugs – and my hearing is still intact.)
    A rock concert lasts only for about 3 hours… and in the middle of a city like Gothenburg -how can anyone complain about a rock concert with traffic noise constantly going on, it’s sounds strange to me…

  37. 37
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    What????????? Sorry, can’t see your lips moving….LOL


  38. 38
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I dont think there is such a thing as typical Swedish here.

    Here In Holland , as well with the non smoking regulations, we keep up trend with taking a closer look at unresponsible soundlevels.

    Typical this, typical that……

    We love to hate ourselves in Holland it seems.
    We are for being singled out for being this and that while its just a generalisation.

    Not all Dutch are drugusers or visit the red district on a regular basis.

    I have some nice connotations concerning Swedish women.
    That is probably an illusion as well.

  39. 39
    BlackSparrow says:

    I have had the pleasure of seeing Purple about thirteen times including the Machine Head and Fireball tours, Perfect Strangers Tour and I must say they never hurt my ears, ringing yes On the other hand I did see the Who in 1973 just before Keith Moon passed. Now those blokes were freaking loud. No wonder why Pete Townsend can no longer hear a bloody thing. Not sure if it was Purple that replaced the Who as loudest or the other way around but to my ears the Who were way louder. Liked both bands no matter how loud they were. You WONT find bands like these ever again I might add.

  40. 40
    Bernt-Åke Bärling says:


    I visited the Deep Purple concert the day before in Västerås, and it sounds allright. The band are really good and it is not to loud. They vist Sweden in november and my job are sending me to Austria that day. How good is that?

    Keep rocking Deep Purple, yore the best.


  41. 41
    stefan says:


    Didn´t Keith Moon die in 1978????

  42. 42
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 39

    I think the story IS and should be that they measured DP once during MK 2 days in a small hall.
    Thats why they got on record, so silly…..

    I have the experience of going to gigs since 1980 and I m sure that Rainbow and DP shows were never too loud…..

    The sound was often clear and loud enough….

    Thats how it should be…

    Such a waste of time, money, talent and so on to spoil an evening by distorting the sound up to a hurtful experience.

  43. 43
    Alice Beck says:

    Turn it up

  44. 44
    BlackSparrow says:

    Stefan to answer your question I am not sure what year Keith Moon passed but I missed the Quadrophenia Tour so maybe they came back around again after Whos Next but me doubts they played Los Angeles too many times after 1973 and no offense to that fella that replaced Keith but they were never the same after that. In fact Live at Leeds might have been the best album THE WHO ever did, just like Made in Japan was the best album Purple ever did.

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