Cirrus Research plc

doseBadge and optimus red – experts in their field! - Case study

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Courtesy of Cirrus Research plc

The largest greenfield festival in the world posed a challenge where innovative tactics were employed to ensure that noise measurements were accurate and valid.

End user

Richard Willson, Noise at Work Consultant for TESS, The Event Safety Shop. Richard is one of the UK’s most experienced festival noise specialists having worked on some of the UK’s most prestigious events such as Glastonbury, Latitude, Leeds & Reading Festivals, Festival Republic and BBC events.


2014 Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset.


To ensure that noise levels were monitored and that the 2005 Control of Noise at Work Regulations and site noise limits were adhered to, safeguarding the well-being of festival employees and concession staff during the 5 day music and performing arts festival.


The sheer size of Glastonbury covering some 900 acres as the largest greenfield festival in the world, posed a challenge with Richard employing some innovative tactics to ensure his noise measurements were accurate and valid. With 200,000 festival goers and approximately 60,000 staff on site, Richard also had to use all of his negotiation skills to enforce compliance and understanding of noise levels as a serious health issue.

The project in Richard’s words

“Recent changes to the Noise at Work regulations meant that they now apply to festivals so my work begins with a visual survey of the site to pinpoint where we see a need for ear protection in noise hot spots and estimate how many staff will need ear plugs or other protection. We aim to have over 70% compliance as a general rule of thumb at any one time and this would cover everyone from festival staff, traders and concession employees. “Using the data, we create a noise map of the site and then work up red, amber and green zones which range from constant noise levels that require mandatory ear protection to be worn, through to warnings of intermittent excess noise or low risk areas.

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