Crescent Ballroom Offers Free Earplugs. Other Venues Should Offer Them, Too

Categories: Up on the Sun

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Wikipedia Commons
Venues should strongly consider free earplugs to anyone who wants them.

I love live music.

As someone who writes about music for a living, that is probably as unsurprising a sentence I could type. I love going to concerts, hanging out with like-minded music lovers, and watching professionals execute their craft at the highest levels possible. I love music music that drags your mind into the moment and commands your undivided attention. The vibrations of bass, the crackle of distorted guitars, the view you can get only by camping out at the front of the stage for an hour as less-devoted fans fill in the spaces behind you -- these are just a few of the things that make live music such a moving experience.


These are universal experiences you get at any concert, regardless of genre. But the wonders of live music come with a downside. Hearing damage is a serious occupational hazard for any serious concertgoer. There is now evidence that going to just one show can potentially cause permanent damage to your hearing. And constant exposure to loud sounds can lead to tinnitus -- a permanent, endless buzzing in the ears. Just look at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's guidelines for workplaces with loud noise exposure:

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OSHA

If your job requires you to be exposed to noises exceeding 100 decibels for two hours or longer, the law requires your employer to provide you with ear protection. Rock concerts, many sources report, measure somewhere in the 105- to 115-decibel range. Manowar reportedly cracked 139 decibels during a sound check once. The conclusion? Treat rock shows like you would casual sex. Use protection. If you don't, you might end up with permanent damage to your ears.


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11 comments
Dave Saunders
Dave Saunders

I have tinnitus. I'm sure it's from all the concerts in the 7 ' s and 80's. Probably just from Ted Nugent and Molly Hatchet by themselves.

Andrea Releaseoftalibancommanders Zumsteg
Andrea Releaseoftalibancommanders Zumsteg

Earplugs are easy to find and don't cost much. Be responsible for your own hearing. And yes, if sound guys could make it so you didn't have to YELL to the person next to you....that's even better.

Derek J Cooper
Derek J Cooper

It's fair to say that Crescent already does this, though.

Darren Tonnessen
Darren Tonnessen

It's called personal responsibility. If you're going to a show, you should bring some with you.

Mikey Lee
Mikey Lee

Or they could just not exceed the legal decibel limits for a live venue.

itsme24
itsme24

I always bring/use cotton in my ears for each concert I go to. This is usually enough for most concerts. However, there have been a few that were just way to loud ... Dr Dog, Janes Addiction, for example. I don't know why bands think that the volume needs to be up so high that you can't hear the music. For DR Dog, I went outside and it was still unreasonably loud. I understand alittle bit of volume ... But sometimes the volume is just unreasonable

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

I've played in a band for years and have gone to concerts for over 40 years and I can hear a mosquito fart. I never sit or stand more then four rows back. If it's too loud you're too old.

Zeus Von Larm
Zeus Von Larm

Clubs should at least make them available for purchase. Regardless, you're nuts if you're not bringing your own plugs to shows. The kind I wear cost $40, retain the clarity of the music, are comfortable enough to wear all day, and so small that people don't even know I'm wearing them. So there's no excuses - your hearing is worth $40.

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