i want to have a gig in my back yard. do i need a special permit?

how will i go about this?
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depends on the time that u will be gigging, u may want to inform the police if it is late night, but u dont need a permit its ur backyard.

o and maybe inform the neighbours that there will be some noise for a few hours
if you get your neighbours to sign a slip of paper saying that they're aware you will be hosting an outdoor gig in your back garden for a few hours at night, there really are no complaints to be levelled at you, as long as you keep the volume to a decent, humane level
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Yeah, just common courtesy to your neighbors, tell them a week or two beforehand that you'll be having a late gig so they can sleep away if they're sensitive.
Pretty sure if its above a certain dB and/or if you have a certain number of guests then you will need a permit. Unless you have a full PA blasting at ten or more than 50 or 60 people don't worry. Just in case check your city/county's website for local ordinances on that type of thing. If YOU think it may be a problem then the cops definitely will also think it is a problem and will likely show up. Just as long as there's no underage drinking and the neighbors don't mind you should be fine. If you think someone might complain, they probably will.
If, by outside, you mean like on a back porch or something, it'll be fine... but if you're planning on playing in a more secluded area, make sure you have powerful/loud amps (or better yet, two cabs per guitarist set left and right). Otherwise it will sound like poo.
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Nearly all cities have bylaws against these kinds of things. (noise in residential areas....) However.... enforcement is usually done on a 'when there is a complaint' basis. Make of that what you will.

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