Excessive exposure to loud music may cause damage to your hearing. Remember to give your ears a break. It’s a good idea to wear ear-plugs too.
A note on “Noise” – by “Deaf Geoff” Markson, ex-sound engineer to the stars.
Music’s a big part of Glastonbury. A lot of people come mainly to listen to the bands. Lucky bastards. It’s like this: nowadays there is a piece of legislation called the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Loosely speaking, the regulations say that in any environment where workers are normally exposed to sound levels of 80 dB(A) or over, employers are obliged to warn staff of the dangers of cumulative sound pressure hearing loss, and provide them with ear protection. There’s also an absolute maximum exposure for staff, after taking hearing protection into account, of 87 dB. You can find out more information at the Action on Hearing Loss website.
These regulations haven’t always been around, and lots of people my age who have been surrounded by rock and roll all their lives wish they had; they make people aware of the dangers of being exposed to high noise levels for long periods. Most younger sound engineers now wear ear protection at all times at an event except when they are doing their mix. Makes sense. And you will see other people around stages wearing ear plugs most of the time too.
But festival-goers are not at work – you can expose yourself to whatever sound levels you wish! So can I make a suggestion? If you love music and want to continue enjoying it for years to come, look after your ears. Be aware that in front of the PA stacks at nearly all of the music stages at Glastonbury, even the smaller ones, you will be exposed to extreme noise levels. Your ears can deal with it – for a short while. But if you are going to spend a long time at the stages remember to give your ears a break.
If you’ve watched one band from right in front of the PA, try watching the next one from by the mixing position. And if you’re determined to spend all day in the Dance Tent or right by the speaker stacks of one of the big stages, get some funky-coloured ear-plugs. They are the coolest thing to wear this year: it shows you’re a real music-lover. See the Action on Hearing Loss stall next to the Pyramid, and pick up some ear plugs.
Personal sound systems
Please don’t bring your own sound system – the Festival has music pretty well covered. The campsites are patrolled for rogue systems, which will be confiscated.
Induction loops are provided for hearing aid users in the Cabaret tent, Theatre tent, Cinema tent, SSS tent and in the Action on Hearing Loss stall (if you face the Pyramid Stage the stall is on the right). Look for the T symbol.
BSL Interpreters will be available through the welfare team for use in an emergency by any BSL user who needs to communicate with Festival staff or volunteers. (The sign language interpreters are not available to interpret performances or non-emergency conversations).
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