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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Having amplified sound at your NNO party

band playing in park

Amplified sound is any sound that is made louder through a human-made device. Sound systems, speakers, drums, and bullhorns all amplify sound. If you want to have a band, a stereo, or a speaker on a microphone or bull horn, you would probably exceed the usual decibel limits for noise, and will need a noise variance. One of the benefits of registering your party is that you can be included in a group noise variance that is granted to official National Night Out parties, for free, and with no hassle.

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement takes care of the details and pays for the variance.  All you have to do is register your party at and abide by the following guidelines:

  1. At least one week prior to the event, notify all the neighbors within a one and a half block radius of the party that you will be having amplified noise.  Provide them with a phone number they can call if they have questions before the event, or if they want to report concerns about excessive noise during the event.  Usually, this would be the phone number of the party host.
  2. Any speakers used at the event should face away from the closest residential locations to the party.
  3. Amplification should not be audible further than a block from the source of the noise.
  4. Sound levels should be reduced upon request.
  5. Amplification needs to cease at 10:00pm sharp.
  6. If any complaints are received about the noise levels, it should be reported to the Noise Control Office at 503-823-7350 soon after the event, along with an explanation of how the complaint was addressed.
  7. If a police officer or noise control officer should appear during the event, his/her instructions supersede the noise variance and take precedence.

When you register your party, you will enter information about the nature of the amplified noise you would like to have.  Staff will review your request, and will automatically add you to the group noise variance unless they believe there may be problems with the level or type of sound you are requesting (in which case you will be contacted). If you don't hear from the City, you can assume you are included in the noise variance.

Questions?  Please call 503-823-4064 or 503-823-7350.