Topic: Is it legal to drum in public?  (Read 2982 times)

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Offline Ben Ringer

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Is it legal to drum in public?
« on: July 28, 2014, 02:13 PM »
Like many other drummers I am stuck living in an apartment and am hating it. I bought an electric kit and have been playing it for about 7 months in here but it's just never going to be the same as the real deal.

I am curious as to whether anyone know the legality of setting up a drum set in a public area (parks, beaches, parking lots, mountains, etc.). I'm sure if there is a home or open business around they could file a noise complaint but what if the location is away from any home or business?

Yes, there are rehearsal studios around and I could try calling local storage facilities to see which allow you to rent and play inside a storage locker. On the other side though, it would be great to have a free place to play like the good old days of having a house.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 05:26 PM »
Every city and county in the USA is different. Most cities have a noise ordinance where you can't have on going "noise" for a length of time or during certain hours of the day/night. As soon as you affect other people and their rights, you are looking at getting a visit from law enforcement.

Playing outside is also an issue with "noise" as well as having your drums set up in a public area which may require a license/permission.

Search the forum for previous discussions on the topic as well as solutions.
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 10:26 AM »
I rent a house, but am lucky enough to have great neighbors. Plus I live across the street from a cemetery. The gal who rents the upstairs is rarely home so that's not a problem either. I have an agreement not to play past 10 PM. The neighbors on both sides of me ride Harleys. I don't gripe about their bikes and they don't gripe about my drums.  8)
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Offline Ben Ringer

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 01:04 AM »
Sounds like you have a pretty good deal there Chip.

My apartment complex has very strict noise rules. They want my windows closed even with the electric drums. I heard someone else get in trouble for playing an acoustic guitar on their porch. Guess I just chose the wrong complex for a musician.

Offline Ben Ringer

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 01:13 AM »
So far I have gotten this response from Orange County (where I live) which doesn't really answer anything:
"Thank you for your message. It depends on the location where you want to set up and play. The County of Orange only has jurisdiction in unincorporated areas. It also would depend how loud you play. There are various ordinances regarding public nuisances based on noise. You may want to check with the city in which you're hoping to play. "

And this response from the city of Anaheim:
"Music can be played in your place of residence as long as it doesn't go late into the night.  There is no curfew we just ask that you be courtesy to your neighbors.  A neighbor can call the police department if they wish, it is their right to do so.  Please do not play your drums in a public City space as you will be asked to leave.  To play in a park for example, you would net to get permission from our parks division, you could also be cited for playing in an empty parking lot as that could be considered trespassing.  Please contact any of the beach cities individually in Orange County for information on playing at the local beaches."

Starting to seem like it's a chase of ask this person and this person and this person for something that is a big grey area of they could cite me if they really wanted to but it doesn't flat out say they will.

Offline Steve Phelps (Shoeless)

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 08:43 AM »
I remember when I lived in San Diego there was a spot out by Jack Murphy stadium (now Qualcomm stadium) where I would see folks set up and play. There was nothing around except freeways, underpasses, overpasses, etc. You'd park your car on the side of the road under these bridges and it would sound enormous. The only people around were slow passing cars, getting from one on ramp to another. Find an industrial area, still accessible to the public, no noise ordinance because there is no one around to bother
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Offline Kenneth Hudgens

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Re: Is it legal to drum in public?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 11:23 AM »
I have lived and played my drums in public places, all over the world. If you are near LA, you can play on Hollywood Blvd during the day and halfway into the night. If you are in Frankfurt, Germany, you can play in Sachsenhausen. If you are in Manila, Philippines, you can set up outside the Mall of Asia during the day.

 

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