Online retailer Allearplugs.com has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the potential damage that can be done if you expose your hearing to persistently loud noises. To kick start the campaign three of the rock world’s most celebrated bands lending their support, urging fans to wear ear protection whenever they attend gigs.
Hardcore punkers Cancer Bats, Welsh post-hardcore act The Blackout and Sheffield metalcore mob While She Sleeps have all thrown their weight behind the campaign, sending out messages to their substantial online following.
The Blackout, who have just announced their final tour as a band, tweeted to their over 50,000 followers ‘You’ve only got two ears. Don’t break them.’ They then went on to elaborate in a released statement: ‘As an artist playing shows day in day out it can be intensely draining to your entire body, but unlike your muscles, your ear drums and hearing won’t grow stronger. Protecting them at all times is essential. Ear Peace earplugs give you the essential clarity and sharpness of sound whilst protecting your hearing from damaging stage sounds.’
Cancer Bats also emphasised the need for effective ear care at gigs, especially with bands who’re as loud as they are. Lead singer, Liam Cormier said: “I want to be able to crank Pantera when I’m old and grey sitting on my porch, drinking a bucket full of black coffee. The only way I’m going to be able to still hear a thing at my prime old age is by taking care of my hearing now. Having a good pair of ear plugs is just planning for the future.”
Sheffield riffers While She Sleeps also voiced their support for the campaign: “Strangely enough it took me quite a while for the importance of wearing ear plugs to sink in! If you’re like me who loves any sort of music loud, I urge you to start wearing them now and not until it’s too late! It would be a disaster to damage a part of you that makes you so happy and can create such colourful worlds of wave form dimensions that can provide you with so many areas of peace, pleasure and creativity.”
An average rock concert has been measured by Action on Hearing Loss as being around 115dB, 35dB over what’s considered the ‘danger level’. This is enough to start causing damage after less than ten minutes – barely enough for three songs, let alone a whole evening.
According to a report from Action on Hearing Loss, awareness is still low, with on 34 per cent of the young people surveyed believing that hearing loss would affect their lives in some way, and 88 per cent disagreeing that music is played too loudly at gigs/concerts. Some participants even believed that the ‘type of ear’ was to blame for hearing loss. 90% per cent of young people have experienced ringing in their ears – an early sign of damage – at least once.
As of 2011, 10 million people in the UK suffered some form of hearing loss, with that figure expected to reach 14.5 million by 2031. About 10 per cent of the population have also experienced tinnitus, a debilitating condition frequently caused by excessive noise, and common amongst rock stars.
Allearplugs.com started up the campaign in order to raise awareness around an issue that’s still not treated as seriously as it could be. Cancer Bats, The Blackout and While She Sleeps have all publicised their support for their campaign reaching out to their collective following of over 100,000 Twitter followers.
Managing Director Rob Doole said: ‘There’s nothing wrong with enjoying live music, but many people are still unaware just how much damage they could be causing to their hearing if they’re a regular gig goer. We’re really pleased that the bands were able to get behind the campaign and communicate it with their thousands of fans online.’