My name is Evan Duthie, I’m 16, I live in Scotland and I’m a DJ & Producer. With some hard work and a little bit of luck, I should have a long DJ career ahead of me.
I started playing at festivals and clubs when I was 14. Playing a main stage, and to thousands of people, is an amazing feeling and one that I’ll never take for granted. When I’m in the DJ booth, I’m exposed to high volumes of music coming from my booth monitors pointing directly to my ears. In my first year of playing out, I played 5 sets in total at a main stage in Oslo, Norway. After finishing my sets, I noticed my ears were ringing. I thought to myself “this has happened before, I’ll be fine”. When I got back to my apartment, I looked up what could be the cause of this. I came across numerous websites about tinnitus hearing protection.
Obviously, my ears improved and I can still hear well and there is no ringing but it could’ve been a lot different.
In November 2015, I played at the 02 Academy, Glasgow for Annie Mac’s 2015 tour. I was at the event for about 6 hours backstage and onstage with the other artists. It will be the most memorable thing that’s ever happened to me. I had no earplugs in as I had forgotten my generic ones. It was then when Annie suggested getting a set of custom earplugs I looked into it further.
I woke up the next afternoon and had ringing in my ears for 3 days and I thought I would be stuck with it the rest of my life, thankfully not. That’s when I got in touch with ACS, a company who specialise in hearing protection and in-ear monitors. They’ve been around for years and have a fantastic reputation. They were so helpful and told me which earplugs I would need and that’s how I became an endorsee as I want to help raise awareness about hearing damage and protection. I was also invited by the BTA to become a Plug’em Ambassador, because I want to make sure people know about protecting their hearing from tinnitus at loud live music events.
Hearing protection doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You can get generic earplugs for under £20, or if you are around music or loud environments, you might want to look into getting some custom moulded earplugs that are made specifically to fit your ears. If you repeatedly damage your hearing and are exposed to loud noise, you could develop tinnitus. Tinnitus can be permanent and there will be a constant sound in your ears. It can effect your really badly, so if you love music you really should get some earplugs and protect your hearing.
In 2016, I’ve had a very busy year. I’ve played mainstages at festivals, at BPM 2016 and I visited London for the first time and played at Morning Gloryville at The Oval Space. I’ve been wearing my Pro 17s, which I got from ACS to all the clubs and festivals I play at and I watch other artists from backstage. I went to T in the Park in July 2016 and hung out backstage at the Radio 1 stage with Annie Mac. We were both wearing our earplugs and were at the side of the stage. They lower the volume equally over the frequency range so you can still hear the music and hold a conversation like normal.
If you are a music lover, club goer, DJ, bar staff or anyone in noisy environments, you really should protect your hearing and avoid tinnitus. So remember to Plug’em.