When you were young, you may have thought your parents were squares and you would not be caught dead listening to the same music as them. However, times have changed, and today’s kids often listen to the same music as their parents. Classic rock, jazz, country, punk and other genres may be loaded up on a mom’s and daughter’s iPod. In some cases, there may be only a slight difference in musical taste. So, since you share a love of music, it’s likely that you’ll want to share the gift of live entertainment and attend a concert together.
The Right Age
Every child is different. Sure, there are general recommendations. For example, movies are rated PG-13, insinuating that the content is too mature for children under that age. However, use your best judgment in knowing your child. Usually the artist or group’s style of music is a good indication of the ambiance. For example, it’s probably okay to bring your 7 year-old child to a Taylor Swift concert but maybe not to a heavy metal concert. The latter crowd may be too rowdy for a young child. Is there a ‘right age’ for a first concert? Not really – it depends on the style of music, artist, and the child’s level of maturity.
The Right Scene
Depending on the age of your child, you may want to think about the impending scene. For example, if you park in the main lot, you may encounter people drinking, doing illicit drugs, and using language that is inappropriate for young ears. Maybe it’s best to pay for parking that is very close to the venue. Moreover, think about the kind of seating. You will have to pay more for seats up front or in a superbox, but that ensures that your child is not immersed in the general population, which may include people who are drunk, doing drugs, etc.
The Right Seats/Tickets
These days, there are more than a few options to consider when buying tickets. You can buy them from the main venue, a third-party website, a person from Craigslist, and of course, there are always ticket scalpers roaming the crowds before a concert. While it may be tempting to strike a deal with a person on Craigslist or a scalper, be wary of counterfeiters and swindlers. It’s much safer to purchase tickets from venues or to buy tickets online from certified third party vendors.
The Right Time
It may be better to wait until the concert starts to walk into the venue. At that point, much of the ‘pre gaming’ will be over and most concert goers will be inside. Also, despite the genre of the main act, be sure the opening act meets your expectations. Many times, openers are of the same ‘style’ and attract the same fans as the opening act, but it’s not a given. Such a dynamic is especially true when it comes to festivals that involve various kinds of musical acts. Also, the time of year and week will dictate the environment. Expect a lot more people ‘hanging out’ in the parking lot or surrounding area during a summer concert taking place on a weekend versus during the week in the dead of winter.
The Right Balance
Of course, you want your child to have a good time. Depending on their age, that may mean allowing them to bring along a friend or two. You want to strike the right balance between sharing an experience with them and them feeling obligated to spend time with you. If you usually do activities together, then it may not be awkward to spend time with them alone at the concert. However, if they are at that age when they begin spending more time with friends and want to be independent, it may be a good idea to allow them to bring along friends, so they feel as if you’re granting them freedom.
The Right Exit
Some events are well worth staying until the end, but if you think the crowd is rowdy, it may be a good idea to make your exit before the encore. For one, you’ll miss most of the traffic. Secondly, you won’t have to deal with people who may have spent the majority of the concert getting inebriated. Thirdly, if you purposely waited until the concert started to make your way through the parking lots, the same principle applies; if you want to spare your kids from seeing a party scene, it’s best to leave before the concert ends. Sweeten the deal by mentioning you’ll take them for ice cream or stop for a snack before heading home.
Steve Hinz is the owner of Headline Tickets, LLC a secondary marketplace for event tickets. Steve says, “I am a veteran of the USAF and fought in the first Gulf war (Desert Storm). I enjoy writing blog posts with topics ranging from doomsday prep, self-balancing scooters and healthy eating. I have been writing for over 6 years and enjoy learning through blog writing.”