• Do festivals contribute to noise pollution?

Health & Safety

Do festivals contribute to noise pollution?

Sep 24 2012

Although the festival season may be long gone, the negative effects of the festivities may remain with us.

The loud music and noise generated from masses of individuals partying at a festival may have contributed to noise pollution – leaving attendees and those unlucky enough to live near the area with lasting ear damage.

Certain frequencies can leave permanent damage to our health, while sound reaching a certain output in decibels can also leave us with irreparable health issues.

Some festivals do not abide by the strict rules in place which attempt to prohibit future health problems.

Dr Kalyani Mandke of the Awaaz Foundation is a specialist in Audiology and Speech Therapy. She explains that people cannot shut off their hearing system. Noise travels in all directions, and thus hearing is not a voluntary act. Therefore, when music is played continuously, our ears do not manage to get a rest, whether we are asleep or otherwise.

“Naturally our auditory system experiences fatigue. There are many known ill effects of it, such as insomnia, irritability, lack of concentration and poor attention span. We all are not aspiring to be great thinkers, philosophers, or scientists but we all have right to be human beings with good quality of life.”

It is not just noise that has festival-goers worried. In a survey carried out by music industry campaign group, AGreenerFestival.com, individuals were worried about a multitude of environmental issues.

“In the UK, 80 per cent considered noise at festivals had a negative environmental impact, 82 per cent thought waste had a negative impact, 56 per cent thought festivals had a negative carbon footprint, 60 per cent were worried about water, 53 per cent were concerned with land damage and 84 per cent thought travel and transport had a negative environmental impact.”

The survey questioned 1407 music fans and some event organisers.

The information has had some positive effects on festival organisers, with some understanding the environmental and financial benefits of running a far greener event.

“More festival organisers now believe that their festivals’ environmental credentials have an influence on ticket buyers.”

Posted by Claire Manning

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