By Quinn Dycus
Every teen in the music scene dreams about going to shows every night for the rest of their lives. But what happens when it’s time to ask your parents? Some understand the struggle of having to accept only being able to attend a couple local shows, and some are grateful that their parents support their desire to travel and follow multiple tour dates of their favorite band. I asked parents of all backgrounds and ideals about their thoughts on different aspects of the concert going/touring experience.
Overall thoughts on your child attending shows (locally or traveling)?
Parent Type 1: “I believe that attending concerts locally is safe depending on the area. If concerts have safety precautions such as checking bags, etc then the concert is okay. As for teens traveling for concerts, I feel it is unsafe for teenagers be alone on the road late at night after a concert where anything could happen.”
Parent Type 2: “Go for it.”
Most parents agreed on having no problem with their child attending shows, as long as their child has shown responsibility and uses precautions.
What is your greatest concern with your child attending shows?
Parent Type 1: “Safety both during the concert and regarding transportation/traffic.”
Parent Type 2: “Honestly it’s all about her safety. Some of the shows i’ve attended with her, I was really concerned with the venue allowing, as well as the bands encouraging, behaviors like crowd surfing and stage diving. It’s all dangerous. As a child of the 80s punk scene, I know it’s fun and a part of the show in many ways… but there needs to be some education on the real danger that it poses.”
Overall the consensus was the same: safety is paramount. All parents just want to know their child will be in a safe environment.
When would you draw the line on the amount of shows they attend?
Parent Type 1: “[My child] would need to maintain grades, not miss school, and help fund them.”
Parent Type 2: “The amount is irrelevant.”
The majority agreed that not too much school should be missed and as long as their child can afford to go, as long as it does not affect the health or well-being of their child.
Overall thoughts on your child making friends at concerts/online through bands?
Parent Type 1: “Hmmm. Sketchy.”
Parent Type 2: “I think it’s a great opportunity to meet like minded people from different areas.”
I was very interested to see the responses to this particular question. With the Internet being so accessible, it’s easy to connect with people. Many parents agreed meeting people online is risky. Most also stated that when meeting up for the first time, people should meet in a public place to avoid any possible trouble. But on the other hand, most stated that they are glad their child is meeting new friends at concerts, because they already have a commonality.
Do you attend shows with your child? Why or why not?
Parent Type 1: “Yes. Some, because I feel better knowing that someone is there to keep an eye on her if something goes wrong.”
Parent Type 2: “No, because they are old enough to go alone now.”
Surprisingly, a lot of parents do attend with their child, but a lot of them do because they enjoy the music! Most said they can’t attend many shows due to work, or don’t due to their child being old enough to attend on their own.
How early would you allow your child to queue for a show?
Parent Type 1: “An hour or two before the event. No camping.”
Parent Type 2: “She has gone early. Really early. And slept on an air mattress with her friends on the sidewalk.”
This is where attendees differ the most. Not everyone camps for every show. Whether you camp out for days before the show or get there an hour before, neither determine how big of a fan you are.
Did you attend shows as a teen? If so, describe your experiences. If not, that’s okay!
Parent Type 1: “I did not attend shows.”
Parent Type 2: “Yes… the 80’s punk scene in NYC. I was a regular face in the crowd.”
Sometimes parents and their child struggle to find an understanding of where each is coming from. Not everyone’s parent is going to understand the passion of seeing your favorite bands live, and some will completely get it.
Favorite band of yours?
ALL Parent Types: Nickel Creek, Michael Jackson, COIN, Glass House Point, Maroon 5, babyblu, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Eagles, Sam Smith, Walk the Moon, Pentatonix, and 3 Doors Down
As music of all types attracts an extremely diverse group, I feel it is important to celebrate our differences and our commonalities. No one should ever feel less involved in the music scene based on how many shows they have attended, how early they come to the venue, or whether or not you have met the band members/artist. We all share a passion for music, and ultimately that’s all that should matter!