Mods, please move if this is in the wrong forum. One of the bands I work with had an outside gig last night. Kind of a neat little setup with a small bar and grill with a court yard, park benches, a small stage for karaoke, bands, and such. Weve played there before so we were not expecting anything out of the ordinary. However, we get there and the guy that runs the place is saying that the city has a 70db sound level limit, the local police are going to come by with a decibel meter, and will fine him AND the band a ~$700.00 if were over the limit. We went over it and decided that we would start off with the lightest tunes we had and play them as low as we could until the police made their check. Once he was done and went about his business we would carry on as usual. Everyone was in agreement on this plan. We start off with Margaritaville played as low as we could go. I had the SVT-VRs volume at 9 oclock and could literally hear the strings buzzing under my fingers. We went into Mississippi Kid with the drummer singing lead and the lead singer runs to the bar to get a beer. The owner meets him there and tells him Either turn it down or turn it the f@ck off. He also goes on about not wanting to get fined, etc. The owner had a similar conversation with a friend of the band that helps us out and was wearing one of our T-shirts. The singer and friend returned, obviously agitated, and delivered the message. After much discussion it was decided we couldnt get any quieter, and did not care for the ultimatum, nor how it was delivered. So, after two songs we pack up and make the hour drive home thus ending one of the shortest gigs Ive ever played. The whole affair leaves me with a couple of questions. First, can anyone recommend a good decibel meter? Ive been thinking this situation could have been avoided if we had accurate information to work with. Also the ordinance and fine seems suspect to me. Does anyone have any insight into the noise ordinances in your area? Perhaps the guy has been having trouble recently with the police enforcing this ordinance. I just wish he would have called us before we packed up and drove up there and let us know what was going on. We could have bowed out and given him the opportunity to book an acoustic act.