Photo: Gideon Mendel/WireImage
Helping Thousands Protect Their Hearing At Summer Festivals
At summer music festivals this season, MusiCares pop-up clinics have been working overtime, providing more than 3,000 event attendees with customized hearing protection — a service now newly affordable and thankfully, becoming increasingly widespread. MusiCares has worked with a variety of audiology service providers at festivals across the country, for example at Miami's Ultra Music Festival, and testimonials have raved with phrases like "super-rad" and "invaluable."
The risks and reality of hearing loss pose different dangers for individuals because everyone's hearing is physiologically unique. Some risks apply especially to aging concertgoers, and undetected hearing disabilities have been proven to damage development for children both in and out of school. It is more important than ever to learn to enjoy noise and loud music mindfully, and to be ready to reach for convenient hearing protection when the decibels threaten to become damaging.
The consensus among people who know hearing protection's importance, first-hand, has become unanimous. "I'm not trying to harsh your festy vibe with some stuffy PSA," wrote festival sound technician Michael Mooneyham earlier this month. "After hundreds of shows, I can literally show you the notches in my hearing, a graphic representation of the damage done. I want your next festival to sound as good as your first." Emphasizing that custom-molded ear plugs are best he asks, "Come on, what's the price of your hearing?"
Reinforcement from the many voices on Reddit includes memorable testimony such as, "I forgot mine for Paradiso this weekend and my ears are still buzzing. That's what permanent damage sounds like."
There are people who take the chance of open ears just as they take the chance of riding motorcycles without helmets to protect their heads. The more you do it, the greater the risk. MusiCares works year-round, reaching out to members of the music community who need assistance, and thousands more are expected to receive custom hearing protection before the year is over in an effort to spread the word to the music-appreciating community, which includes almost everybody, that loud fun should be enjoyed safely.