It was great to see The Gathering being officially launched on New Year’s Eve and already there seems to be a huge number of events planned for throughout 2013 – check out www.thegatheringireland.com for details. At Hidden Hearing we were especially heartened to see Imelda May at her Dublin New Year’s Eve gig, where she appeared on-stage with her baby who was wearing protective earphones for the noise. More and more musicians are starting to take a responsible approach to noise levels and it is an example to us all.
In the UK, musicians such as Chris Martin, Plan B, Judge Jules, Jazzie B and DJ Smith have all added their support to a campaign by Action on Hearing Loss to highlight the dangers of prolonged exposure to loud music. 70s chart-topper Gary Numan said he wished he had taken advice earlier: “I didn’t look after my ears and I’m in trouble. It’s getting serious, to the point that I can’t mix my music properly anymore, so it’s majorly impacted on my career. If I’d just looked after them when I was younger then this would never have happened, so I very much regret it. I would often be at gigs, standing at the front next to the speakers, not wearing earplugs, thinking I’m cool and being manly, but that’s just rubbish, it’s stupid. So look after your hearing and wear earplugs.”
Across Ireland in 2013, a number of the events organised as part of The Gathering will be musical. One of the first events is a ‘Music to your ears’ event in Galway (18th – 20th January) – which promises to be a great music event. Our message to attendees at gigs across Ireland this year is to look after your hearing, don’t stand too close to speakers and take an occasional break from prolonged exposure to loud music.