After going to Coachella for the first time this year and listening to Aphex Twin/Pendulum/Fat Boy Slim in the Sahara tent, my virgin ears got raped. I figured the experience was worth whatever hit I may have took in permanent high-spectrum hearing loss and occasional ringing, but figure I might as well take precautions for future Coachellas. My eyes are already crap, so I'd rather not have crappy hearing too.
I'm preparing for next year by getting some Etymotic ER-25 custom-fit musicians earplugs that supposedly do a good job at not distorting music. Going to an audiologist to get a custom mold of my ear canal and buy some of these babies. Worth the money? We'll see. Now from what I hear earplugs will help protect you, but the Mastoid bone near your ears act kind of like a tuning fork to vibrations and loud sounds can still be damaging, thus earmuffs might help shield that area where earplugs won't. So a combination of both is probably the best but you would sure look like a dork with big earmuffs on unless that style catches on. So basically I'm going to try and not get too close to the speakers, wear some plugs and take a break from the tents once in a while.