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50% of live music attendees hear ringing noises in their ears according to new research

The same report found that only one in 10 wear earplugs at gigs and nightclubs

  • 16 March 2023
50% of live music attendees hear ringing noises in their ears according to new research

New research has found that half of all gig and club goers experience ringing in their ears, but only one in 10 regularly wear earplugs at gigs, festivals and nightclubs.

It means that one in two young people are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss – including tinnitus and deafness – according to the World Health Organisation.

In the wake of the news TicketSwap, the ticket resale platform that aims to discourage touts, has launched a “sonic safety campaign” #dontmissabeat, aiming to educate people about tinnitus and hearing loss, while encouraging the use of earplugs.

Read this next: The 13 best earplugs to protect your hearing in the rave

The research found that fewer than 50% of music fans know what tinnitus is – an irreversible condition in which a person hears noises such as ringing, clicking or buzzing inside their ear. It is often caused by overexposure to loud noise.

Speaking about the campaign, the Founder and Director at the UK Hearing Conservation Association said: “Many of us love the buzz and enjoyment from attending gigs and festivals. However, as sound levels can reach over 100dB, even short gigs have the potential to cause irreversible harm such as deafness, tinnitus, oversensitivity to noise added to increased risks for early onset dementia and cognitive impairment.

“That’s why we believe everyone should be enjoying sound in a safe way so it can last a lifetime,” she continued. “You can enjoy live music in a safe way by using the right earplugs; so you still get the full experience but without the harmful levels, avoiding being right in front of the speakers and giving your ears a rest are all simple ways you can enjoy sound in a sustainable and healthy way.”

Read this next: “Frequencies I’d never felt before”: How deaf DJs are revolutionising the club experience

hape., a Berlin-based DJ and producer said: “I’m concerned about hearing loss, as some people in my family have already had issues with that. As a DJ and producer, I’m definitely looking to protect my ears by any means necessary, to continue to enjoy making music.

“I’ve experienced tinnitus, which started to feel recurrent. That’s why I bought earplugs, and they really saved me during DJ sets,” he continued.

“I can’t live without them now. No temporary tinnitus or anything of the kind – I can just go to sleep without having the feeling my ears were hammered.”

Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

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