The Business Journal reports that some venues in Minneapolis would be required to carry ear plugs under an ordinance amendment proposed by City Council Member Jacob Fre. The measure would cover only Class A and Class B on-sale liquor, wine and beer license holders, which would rule out smaller neighbourhood restaurants. The bars would be required to offer ear plugs with a “noise reduction rating” of at least 30 decibels. They would HAVE TO be provided at no charge to patrons. However Mr Frey said the non-profit group Locally Grown Globally Connected has agreed to provide the ear plugs free of charge to the musical venues saying “We have access to free supplies that will at least give people the option of saving their hearing decades down the road,” said Frey, who represents Downtown and Northeast, home to a number of venues. “I see no reason not to do this.” The measure will have a public hearing on April 1.
The Huffington Post reports that a loud music ordinance introduced in December has been so controversial in New Orleans, where live music is part of the city’s culture, it is now being revised after critics complained that it threatened the city’s rich musical legacy and threatened the livelihood of both musicians and the venues that host them. An acoustics expert hired by the City Council is busily taking decibel measurements along Bourbon Street as part of an effort to better manage the volume in places devoted to Dixieland and other music.
Last year, Bob Boilen, a music reviewer for National Public Radio wrote that he uses ear plugs at concerts and music shows more often, but confessed that “…I don’t like what they do to the experience. In fact, earplugs deaden the full range of sonics that clubs and bands would like their fans to hear, that very sensation they’re after with loud music.” Boilen’s somewhat unscientific survey of fans found that 71 percent said most of the live music shows they see are too loud. But people are split on wearing earplugs: 52 percent say they do it; 45 percent of those say they hate it but do it anyway, and 26 percent say they hate earplugs and won’t wear them.