‘Deaf Geoff’ on hearing protection at festivals

Jul 19, 2019 in Hearing Protection

Festival goers in front of stage with hands in the air

Festival season is well and truly upon us, but whether you’re into indie rock or dance anthems, the music is going to be loud! So what can you do to protect your hearing at festivals?

Someone who really knows his stuff when it comes to concert ear protection is Glastonbury’s own Geoff Markson, an ex-sound engineer. He warns, “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.” And of course, this is the same at all the other festivals too.

Sound advice from “Deaf Geoff”

Why is Markson such an expert on this matter? Well, for one thing, his time working in rock and roll has earned him the nickname of “Deaf Geoff”, thanks to a lack of noise regulations in place to protect workers back in the day. Now though, employers have to provide hearing protection for any staff who are regularly “exposed to sound levels of 80 dB(A) or over”, to combat the risks of permanent hearing loss or damage.

What kind of hearing protection can I use?

The music at festivals can often exceed recommended safe levels, particularly if you’re right up near the front of the stage or inside the music tents. And the longer your exposure, the more damage can be done. So, if you love being up close and personal with your favourite bands, wearing earplugs is a must.

Earplugs will protect your ears by safely lowering the volume to a normal level – but don’t worry, they won’t ruin the sound of the music! In fact, Geoff Markson says earplugs are “the coolest thing to wear this year” as they show “you’re a real music lover.” Another solution is to wear over-ear noise-reducing ear defenders, but of course, earplugs for concerts are a bit more discreet.

Markson advises to make sure you take breaks to protect your ears. In between acts is the perfect time to go somewhere a little quieter, get hydrated and give your ears a rest.

Concerned about your hearing?

It’s not just festivals that music lovers should consider when it comes to hearing loss, listening to your personal headphones at too high a volume can also be a factor. If you have any worries about your hearing or ear health, be sure to book a hearing consultation with us. You can book either online, over the phone on 0800 40 20 20, or pop into your local Leightons branch.