One thing I dread as a singer is having to perform at venues with sound limiting restrictions. It’s like asking Lewis Hamilton to qualify, but to look out for speed cameras.
After last night’s wedding, I felt the need to raise awareness so you know what to expect if you’re told about them when booking a venue.
I’ve sang in lots of beautiful places and felt privileged to do so, but there’s nothing more I dread than a sound limiter which are usually fitted within venues to try and control music levels within a certain area as to not disturb nearby residents or staying guests. Most venues will mention it to clients before they book their event, and most will play them down as if they won’t cause an issue, but they can, as I’ve experienced so many times before.
Delamere Manor is a perfect example: A beautiful venue with its signature room having sound restrictions because of nearby residents. I was told that I would have to sing through their sound system – which consists of a number of tiny, tinny-sounding lo-fi speakers on the wall – and it was clear after my sound check that I would be completely drowned out once guests were back in the room. It was Andrea and Jack’s wedding reception and after singing one song, Andrea asked me to turn it up, who then complained to the manager, who seemed completely resigned to the countless criticism she’d suffered from past entertainers and clients that it didn’t even register anymore. The first dance was ruined because of the poor quality sound and ridiculously low volume level which ruined any chance of creating any kind of atmosphere as part of a wedding celebration. They’d been planning their dance routine for ages and it felt like it was all for nothing.
Venues should offer better soundproofing if they’re to offer places designed for a party. I mean, it’s not as if you can have a quiet one or expect it to be set at a certain volume. I think it’s unfair to offer places up as perfect party venues when it restricts you from actually having a party.
I do understand why sound limiters exist and I’d hate to suffer any form of noise disturbance, but expecting entertainers to restrict their performance isn’t fair, so before you commit to booking a venue, ask if and why it has sound restrictions and think how it may affect your party if you plan to have live entertainment within that space.