Some Mpls. Nightclubs, Event Centers now Required to Provide Earplugs

Updated: 04/12/2014 7:24 AM By: Cassie Hart

The Minneapolis City Council has approved a new ordinance which will require businesses that specialize in loud music, such as event centers and nightclubs, to provide patrons with earplugs to combat hearing loss.

Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey, of the Third Ward, said the legislation would provide the earplugs for free to the businesses with the help of Locally Grown Globally Known and 3M. They would have to provide them starting April 19.

The ordinance will apply to about 185 bars, clubs and performance venues as a condition of their liquor licenses.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 36 million Americans - or 17 percent of the adult population -  have some form of hearing loss.

The earplugs are a way for patrons to shield themselves from high decibel noise without having to forgo music events, Frey said.

Some clubs opposed the ordinance because they currently make thousands of dollars a year selling earplugs.

The city council adopted the ordinance at their meeting on April 11.