Earplugs! The Most Underrated Festival Essential

You’ve packed your booze, baby wipes and assorted chips and dips, but have you considered earplugs as an essential item for your festival experience?

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Electrobeach Music Festival 2013’ Source: Wikimedia Commons
Electrobeach Music Festival 2013’ Source: Wikimedia Commons

Earplugs at a music festival? I hear you ask, that’s ridiculous… and laaaame. But is it? I’m sure you wouldn’t think it’s lame when you’re 35 and can hear that piercing, ringing in your ears all day, everyday and night, thanks to the Tinnitus you developed at age 25 from all those music festivals you went to. More and more young people are developing tinnitus from listening to loud, live music.

I know it’s hard to get used to, in fact, I am not sure I’d be able to bring myself to ignore those weird stares that other gig-goes will give me when I try to discreetly pop earplugs in my ears while in the front row about to jam to Violent Soho.

You might be heading off to Beyond the Valley or Falls Festivals right now for New Years Eve, if so you better listen up. Recent studies have shown that more and more young people are developing tinnitus from going to outdoor music festivals. You are exposed to loud music for a whole day and sometimes days at a time. Fun fact, even the band members wear earplugs. They might be making the loud music, but they aren’t the ones who are going to pay for it.

‘Future Music Festival’ (Image source: Wikipedia labeled for reuse with modification)
‘Future Music Festival’ (Image source: Wikipedia labeled for reuse with modification)

A study conducted by the Journal of Health Psychology suggests, “one way to assist patrons to reduce their level of noise exposure is to promote the use of hearing protectors”.

Only small minorities of people have taken to wearing earplugs to music venues to protect themselves from any hearing damage from that excess noise exposure. The reason not many people have taken it up, is because it is not nearly promoted enough. It has a negative connotation; people don’t understand the many benefits of wearing earplugs. It needs to be promoted into a positive thing.

crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowd ink, crowdink, 'Street Parade’ (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
‘Street Parade’ (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In the research study, participants were asked about their experience of wearing earplugs at these live music events. The advantages of wearing earplugs included the fact that they can be discreet and comfortable, depending on which ones you buy. They still enable you to communicate with others, they minimize noise distortion and by doing this, they can even improve the sound quality of the music.

This information, if distributed by music festival organisations and venue owners, could easily develop a culture of earplug wearing, that will protect your hearing in the long run.

Furthermore, these advantages could potentially educate the non-wearers about the benefits and in turn, become a trend undertaken by the majority of young people.

‘Earplug’ (Image Source -Wikipedia), crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowd ink, crowdink
‘Earplug’ (Image Source -Wikipedia)

No matter what kind of earplugs you go for, all types ensure considerable benefits in reducing the after-effects of loud music and providing hearing protection.

Yeah, you might feel a bit silly at first, but in all actuality, no one else cares whether you are wearing earplugs or not. They are just there to do the same as you, enjoy the music.

Would you wear earplugs at music venues? Share your opinion in the comments below:

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Amanda is an imaginative and enthusiastic writer currently studying a Masters of Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She is passionate about her family, friends, good food and good music (and maybe that glass of Sav Blanc too). Catching the travel bug at fifteen, Amanda liked what Europe had to offer and after graduating high school she took on a work and travel gig with her twin sister in 2012. She spent the adventurous and rewarding year waitressing in England, bike riding in Tuscany, getting caught in the rain in Spain (literally) and visiting family in Croatia. Now Amanda lives in Melbourne where culture and cuisine come alive and while she completes her post-graduate studies, she will work towards landing the job of her dreams within the writing, editing and publishing industry.