Leading Music Insurer Warns of the Decibel Danger to Fans and Musicians in Festival Season
The Summer festival season is well and truly under way, and after a three-year, pandemic-induced musical drought, hundreds of thousands of music fans are descending on festivals around the UK. More than 200,000 attended Glastonbury, and large numbers are expected at Y Not, Reading, Leeds, Bloodstock, Tranzmission and Creamfields this summer - just a few out of hundreds of national and local events.
For most, it will be a long-awaited chance to celebrate the freedom to enjoy the music and time with family and friends, but festival-goers are being urged to be aware of the risks too. And it’s not just about queuing for grim toilet facilities and dodgy doner kebabs.
According to leading musical instrument insurer musicGuard, fans and musicians can be risking exposure to damaging levels of noise. “The average rock concert generates 130 decibel noise levels, the equivalent of a jack-hammer. This level of sound, sustained over several hours or days at a festival, can create hearing difficulties that last well beyond a few hours of ‘ringing in the ears’ on the way home,” according to Alex Bennett, Head of Marketing at musicGuard.
And the risks are much greater for the musicians on the stage. The average sound intensity generated by a drumkit is 119 decibels, and the other musicians need to turn up their instruments to balance this. Stadium concerts can be especially problematic, as the reverb created by a venue built for sport, not music, means further amplification is needed to overcome this.
The biggest threat to musicians
Tinnitus is one of the most common problems arising from prolonged exposure to high noise levels, and while around 13% of the UK population suffer from it persistently according to the British Tinnitus Association, gigging musicians are much more at risk. It manifests itself as a ringing, buzzing or humming in the ear, and can impair hearing and affect wellbeing.
How can musicians avoid developing tinnitus?
musicGuard recommends three steps for musicians to protect their hearing and minimise the risk of developing tinnitus. Wearing ear protection or ear defenders, not just while performing but when rehearsing too, can minimise ear damage.
Taking a break from noise, especially after gigs, gives the ears a chance to recover in between noise exposure. That means avoiding rehearsals and listening to loud music for a day or two after a performance.
And keeping the volume down while watching the television or listening to music, especially wearing headphones, will help protect the ears.
“As a performing musician, your ears are one of the most crucial pieces of ‘equipment’ you own,” adds Bennett. “Making sure you give them the same protection you give your instrument is vital to help ensure a long and successful career.”
To find out more about the risks of tinnitus for musicians and how to deal with the effects, read the whole article here: