The likes of Laurent Garnier and Jeff Mills have signed a petition against the reforms.
The government of Emmanuel Macron issued a public health decree on August 7th that aims to reduce hearing damage in the French population by lowering the maximum volume permitted at clubs and festivals from 105 to 102 decibels. (Decibels is a logarithmic form of measurement, which means the difference between three units above 100 decibels is greater than at lower volumes).
Bass frequencies in particular are being curtailed. Signage warning of the risks of hearing damage and free earplugs will be mandatory, and venues must also create a quiet zone of less than 80 decibels for patrons to rest their ears. The restrictions apply for venues with a capacity greater than 300 people and will come into effect next year.
Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Rex Club, Antigone, Cabanne, Concrete, Voiski and others have signed an open letter protesting the new rules. The letter also announces a formal campaign to annul the decree and urges the opening of public debate on the matter. "Public health concerns us as any citizen, but we fear that we will sacrifice artistic freedom," the letter says. "The ones we want to protect are the artists, the operators of closed and open spaces and the festivals... This decree will inevitably lead to a decline in attendance and, at the same time, a significant drop in the revenues of festive establishments and festivals."
Learn more about hearing loss and tinnitus in our feature.
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