I am going to buy a ticket for a concert, and the show description says:

  • Door time: 7pm
  • Curfew: 10pm

I was thinking that curfew means the latest time you can access the venue, is this correct?
Or does it mean the time the concert will finish?

  • 4
    It is the latest it can finish. Curfew is lights out. If there is noise (and a lot of concerts are considered noise by those not attending them) there will be trouble with the local authorities.
    – oerkelens
    Nov 27, 2014 at 20:35
  • 2
    It's a noise control curfew, where the sound must stop and therefore the concert must end. So the concert will close at 10 pm or they will be paying massive local authority fines.
    – user66974
    Nov 27, 2014 at 20:36
  • 5
    I think this is General Reference: curfew - an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed. Nov 27, 2014 at 20:43
  • 1
    Fans can't always get what they want: bands caught out by curfews. telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rolling-stones/9703179/…
    – user66974
    Nov 27, 2014 at 20:44
  • 1
    Thank you all guys! Any of you could post that as an aswer and I'd happily accept it ;)
    – MikO
    Nov 27, 2014 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


Literally it means "A regulation requiring certain or all people to leave the streets or be at home at a prescribed hour" or "the time at which such a restriction begins or is in effect"Merriam-Webster usually because of political instability in a certain country or province. Here, in the context of a concert it means:

Everybody out by 10.00 pm.

That is, the concert is suposed to be over by 10 pm.

  • 1
    Is such use of the term accepted as standard in certain circles? If so, in which circles? On the face of it, it appears to be a rather odd word to use for this purpose, as the intended meaning is far removed from its usual sense, captured by the dictionary definition you quote. (Curfew, in the usual sense, requires you to be off the streets, while in this idiosyncratic sense, it requires you to be on the street.) Is there any explanation for the concert-organisers' decision to use that word, in spite of its appearing to be so ill-fitting for the purpose?
    – jsw29
    Oct 17, 2021 at 20:24
  • @jsw29 Not current usage in such a context, as far as I know. At a guess, the organizers were probably joking.
    – Centaurus
    Oct 18, 2021 at 0:29
  • 1
    It's specialised terminology in a specific industry, and dictionaries don't always record such specialised terminology, but it relates to other senses of curfew which can mean a restriction on the opening of businesses or a rule for a child to be home at a certain time. You can find lots of uses in this sense aimed at the music industry: 13thnote.co.uk/gig-bookings theunderworldcamden.co.uk/about newcastlegateshead.com/business-directory/things-to-do/…
    – Stuart F
    Nov 11, 2021 at 15:24

It's the time that the performers are supposed to be finished performing. (They may finish earlier.) This is because of noise ordinances.

Alternative Press explains:

Perhaps one of the biggest rules is the concert curfew. According to AVIXA, concerts are Red Rocks are under a very strict noise restriction after a certain time.

The issue came to a head in 2013, when residents voiced their concerns at town meetings, focusing on the increased volume of bass sound being emitted during EDM shows, as that genre grew in popularity during the decade. The venue enacted new rules, setting a limit of 105 dBA after midnight on weekdays and an hour later on weekends. Exceeding those limits could result in fines of up to $10,000 per occurrence.

This Fader article gives another example where a curfew was broken:

American Airlines Center charges a $6,500 fine for every 15 minutes after curfew and Drake left the stage at 12:35 p.m., meaning the overtime cost him $13,000 in total.

See also Curfew no issue as Rolling Stones rock Levi’s Stadium till 11 p.m.

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