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What if Your Neighbors Stage Their Own Summer Music Festival?

It's finally summer, and with summer come summer music festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. It also means that people are outside enjoying the weather and creating festivals of their own.

But what if your neighbor's backyard summer festival gets out of hand and is destroying your relaxing afternoon?

If you can't convince them to go to one of the music festivals going on in New England, you might have some legal remedies.

First, it's good to know exactly what a nuisance is. Legally, nuisance is something done continuously, or not done, by a neighbor that prevents your use and enjoyment of your property.

Nuisance is different from trespassing, which is when someone is doing anything on your property without permission. Instead, nuisance is when the neighbor does not actually touch your property.

Excessively loud music could be a nuisance, but it would have to be happening day and night, without fail. It is likely that if your neighbors played metal so loudly that you could hear it inside your house all summer that you would have a case to bring to court.

However, it is more likely that your neighbors are loud just every now and then. If this is the case, it is probably a good idea to start with the self-help method of talking to your neighbors about the issue.

If talking it over with the neighbors doesn't work, then you can call the police. In Boston, if the noise is over 50 decibels after 11pm or over 70 decibels at any other time, then it is violating Boston's noise ordinance. For reference, your refrigerator's hum is 40 decibels and a normal conversation is 60.

Keep this in mind the next time you want to have a party, or you are woken up by blaring music. Maybe you'll want to go to a summer music festival instead of worrying about it.

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