Club music - why so f***ing loud?!

Why do clubs crank the music up so loud? I mean, to the point where you cannot speak to the person next to you unless you scream at the top of your lungs directly into their ear? It seems so counter-intuitive to me because aren’t we there to meet people and socialize?

Sure, we go to dance too. But we could do that just as well with the music toned down just a bit. I have a hell of a loud voice (I used to give lectures to audiences of 1000 and more with no microphone), and if I have to yell to be heard, it’s just too darn loud.

Anyone else feel this way? Know of any places that have a more sane policy?

I agree. I also thought th musc was way too loud at my high school dances, and at my college parties. Which explains why I hated all those functions.

If the point of these things is to meet people, then WHY do they mke conversation impossible? I met my wife at a Science Fiction convention, where the volume was turned WAY down.

Two reasons:

  1. They want to be heard from the street so that people outside think that their particular club is worth going to. This is only relevant when there is a strip of clubs all competing against each other- like here. Many clubs here put up speakers that face out. The sole purpose of them is to let people walking by here the music. Usually the Dept. of Public Works patrols the strip with a sound meter and fines the clubs that are too loud from the street. But when there are special parades or other things, anything goes! The clubs become almost twice as loud!!!

  2. Everyone in the club is drunk and it is harder to hear the musice when you are drunk, so they like to keep it turned up for everyone.

  3. Well, ok there’s three reason. And this is the most important I think. Not only is the DJ piss drunk usually, he is almost always a deaf bastard. He’s been in loud clubs for years so his hearing is going and he doesn’t quite realize that everyone else’s eardrums are bleeding. He thinks the volume is just fine.

IANADJ, but I did work in a club for a little while. And I always wear earplugs…

Because regular clubgoers have poor hearing due to the loud music in clubs, so clubs need to play loud music so the regulars can hear it. :slight_smile:

I wear earplugs whenever I go to clubs or concerts. I’m unsually sensitive to loud noises (medical problems) and end up in agony otherwise, but really earplugs are a good idea for anyone.

Sorry to shock your delicate sensibilities but decent conversation is officially classified as a lost art. Who cares if the music is so loud? All you’re going to hear is;


My principles of condition and learning professor actually touched on this a few weeks ago, and let me see if I can get it half-assed right without going back to my notes or the textbook…
Cranking up the volume is a cheap way to make something exciting, as in rock concerts. You can become habituated to low background noises. Habituation is handled in the S-R system of the nervous system, while its opposite process, sensitization, is handled by the state system. When your state system is aroused, you’re primed to get excited. This would probably be the state where a club owner wants people to be, because people come back to places where they think they had a fun, exciting time.

Well, there’s always the feel of the bass vibrating all your internal organs. This is good, yes?

I really, really agree!

I used to go to little clubs where they used juke boxes and the bar tender had a volume control switch behind the bar. If the music got too loud, I’d tip him a five and he’d reduce it down to acceptable levels, which only a few customers used to protest and they were usually really crocked.

Live music bars could be real annoying because some of the groups insisted on turning their amplifiers up to the max and I don’t know about anyone else, but when I start feeling the bass pound thru my chest, I get a little uncomfortable. Now, there have been times when liberally greased, I’ve enjoyed the loud music, but not very often.

I’ve even been in groups who have asked bands to lower the volume and been ignored.

I’ve left clubs where the music has just been too loud.

I do club dj’ing as a sideline from my day job. (FYI it’s hard work and any club DJ who drinks in excess while playing is probably a loser anyway. I also have perfect hearing.)

There’s a big difference between, say, Earl’s Corner Pub playing the “latest hits” from their jukebox… versus a large scene-making dance club (think Twilo, NYC). Most serious club goers want an “experience” and to “feel” the music, thus the high volume. The intent is to get lost in the music. Most larger nightclubs have a separate lounge for conversation.

For every person who wants the volume turned down, I can promise that there is someone else there who thinks it’s not loud enough. I speak from experience. Also, a high-end sound system is better suited for music to be played loud but not wear on the ears as much. Many nightclubs are cheap, and use lower grade equipment, which can make the extremely loud music uncomfortable.