Expect to see earplug dispensers rolling out at clubs across the city before May 1.
That’s the result of a new ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday, mandating that clubs carry the free devices. They will be paid for by a coalition of local companies: 3M, apparel maker Locally Grown, Globally Known, and the Miracle Ear foundation.
The new rules apply to about 198 businesses in Minneapolis, which have licenses that allow amplified music for things like concerts and dancing. They were authored by Council Member Jacob Frey.
The effort is intended to raise awareness about hearing loss, which is a growing problem among younger Americans.
The brainchild behind the effort, Brian Felsen, said they are putting the final touches on wall-mounted dispensers which will eventually be rolled out to bars and clubs across the city. Patrons will twist a knob to dispense the earplugs.
“There is no requirement exactly where the facilities have to put them,” Felsen said. “But they do have to be handicap accessible and in an area where people can see and get them without having to ask anyone or be embarrassed about it.”
Photo: Patrons watched Sharief perform at the 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis (CARLOS GONZALEZ )