With SXSW starting this weekend in Austin, and a big summer lineup of concerts in other cities we operate in (Lollapalooza in Chicago, Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, Vans Warped Tour, and much more), we felt it was important to touch on how to protect your ears during concerts and music festivals.
Exposure to loud noise is one cause of sensorineural hearing loss, and while we understand you may continue to attend loud concerts despite the potential hearing damage, here are a few ways to keep your ears protected:
- #SAS: Stay away from speakers
- Use earplugs
- Choose outdoor over indoor venues (when possible)
- Take breaks
Reading this piece of advice, it sounds obvious – the loudest place at a show will be right by the speakers or amplifiers; however, we find many concertgoers use big speakers as gathering points.
So, next time you’re at a show instead of meeting up in front of the speakers, try and meet somewhere else and then work your way into the mass of people (and away from the speakers).
Ear plugs, depending on the kind you get, can reduce sound anywhere from 12 dB to 30 dB, which can help lower the sound from a level able to cause permanent hearing loss (anything above 85 dB) to a reasonable level.
Sound isn’t as intensely concentrated at outdoor venues as it is with indoor venues, making it easier on your ears. Not only that, an outdoor venue typically allows for more music breaks… which is tip #4.
Giving your ears a break from the high levels of noise is good for them. In fact, while hearing loss can occur from short sounds (like fireworks or a gun), it’s more common for hearing loss to occur because of frequent exposure to less intense noise.
With so many exciting concerts coming up this spring and summer, we want to encourage everyone to be mindful of their ears. Use ear plugs, take breaks, and choose outdoor over indoor venues.