Hi guys just thought I'd try and address the elephant in the room regarding swans, by which I mean the bone shaking, ear splitting, tinnitus inducing level they play at. I love swans and can't walk t to see them and from the set lists I'm seeing its going to be a real treat. However a few friends of mine went to see them in Leeds, one of them got full on tinnitus and the other two had pretty knackered hearing despite earplugs. My question if anyone can help is will earplugs be needed or will they tone it down (outdoors at a folk festival). I'm hoping not, as it may spoil some of the experience, but I don't want to waste cash on earplugs (that could go towards cider). 

Just curious as to what I should prepare for.


it's indoors - in the far out tent

where it's always been pretty loud in the past

but whether they can turn it up to full on swans volume will depend on the PA capacity / how closely the PA gets monitored by the festival

i imagine they have pretty fierce licensing concerns

but inside a tent that may not stop it getting fircely loud

earplugs cost pennies

but you probably won't need them

if MBV experience is anything to go by (and no one's louder than them), you get a bit of ringing for a couple of days - and then it goes away

swans are sunday's closer - so who are you going to need to listen to for a couple of days afterwards?!

I saw Swans earlier this year, sans earplugs. Felt nowt. I think it might be more of an issue if you're right down the front, stood in front of the speakers, but you're unlikely to find me there these days! Loudest thing I ever heard was mbv on the Rollercoaster tour. Don't think anyone ever thought of using earplugs back then

I've seen Swans live twice in the last couple of years and they were by far the loudest gigs I've ever been to, moreso than MBV, Boris, etc. Saying that, I was at the very front but with earplugs. I have tinnitus already so I'll be taking my earplugs though I have a feeling it won't be too loud, considering the whole Sunday night festival thing.

As a side note, I honestly feel foam earplugs (which I assume will be available?) dampen the music a lot. Pick up a pair of attenuating ones online if you're worried.


As dear daughter is insistant on seeing Ben Howard, I was hoping to stand at the back and actually hear Swans!

Why do people thnk that GM is a "folk festival"? What folk festival would have Swans on the bill?


I was at The Who gig at Charlton Athletic F.C. in '76 which was the loudest gig ever measured for many years. Swans apparently are louder. I imagine the Big Blue Tent will hold the sound quite well although I would suggest strategic positioning. Hello, hello!