Today, the RNID have published research suggesting that 70% of clubbers experience hearing loss the day after, yet only a quarter realised that the sound was too loud.
And no, this isn't an old man grouching at the youngsters for the sake of it. This is a not-so old man grouching because he's now got mild tinnitus because clubs and gigs turn the volume up on their speakers rather than putting sufficient thought into ensuring they have decent coverage of the sound over the whole area. Come to think of it, if they want people to feel the music, why not have a system that shakes the floor without having to blast it with sound waves?
More details at the Don't Lose the Music website.
On a side thought, since the government has banned people who suffer from a drug addiction from inflicting discomfort and damage on others, perhaps the next thing is going to be enforcing noise limits on nightclubs. And if there are people who genuinely feel that a night isn't good without inflicting permanent damage on their eardrums, perhaps clubs could offer wireless headphones to them so they can destroy their hearing without affecting mine.
In the mean time, I'm buying myself a new set of ear protectors for the next festival I go to, as I'm not keen on putting earplugs in all the time (although I do wear ear plugs to gigs). They're useful not just for the loud music - they also come in handy if some prat is still playing the bongos near your tent at four in the morning.