Welcome to Part 3 as we revisit my conversation with No Air Guitar Allowed author Steve Weinberger. In Part One, we questioned Why Mosh Pits exist, in Part Two we crowd surfed through the mind of Foo Fighter Frontman Dave Grohl, and in this final post we’re going to explore the impact of concert culture on the family system. If you’re just joining us, I suggest taking a trip through Part One and Two to get an idea of the purpose here because I’m going to jump right into our final topic.
What Will Rock the Family System?
Ever since their dawn and during their proliferation and commercialization over the last fifty years, rock concerts have had an age stigma attached to them making fans who pass a certain age feel left out, or like their passport to rock has expired. And on the other end of the age stigma spectrum, becoming a part of live concert culture has also evolved into a rite of passage for kids coming of age.
So what happens when these polar opposite age stigmas and rites of passages occur within the same family? What do you do with kids trying to earn their rite of passage by separating from their parents who love going to concerts? What’s a family to do when both the kids and the parents love live music? Do the parents back off and let the kids have their space and earn their rite to rock? Do the kids let the parents tag along and pretend like they’re not in the venue? Or do both the parents and the kids find a way to meet in the middle and throw the age and rites of passage rules and stigmas out the door?
I started wondering about these questions when I read how families are using summer music festival as a new kind of summer vacation. And I began forming questions when I read how Steve had created characters in his book who deal illustrate and poke fun at the stigma and rites of passage that live within the family system. I was curious to get his take on things.
LF: As the concert culture evolves, do you think concerts will ever become an event that will truly unite the family system?
Steve: In the current economy, I think there are so many things that are ahead of it on the list. But it could happen.
It was a short economically based answer from Steve, but nonetheless it made me wonder even more.
I’ve seen festivals make the concert environment more family friendly notably Lollapalooza’s and their Kidzapalooza section. And I always see a handful of parents pushing strollers or with their babies slung over their shoulders at festivals, too. When I come across those situations I look at the infant (who usually has some kind of large ear protecting headphones) and wonder what would need to change about concert culture to make it a more accepted event within the family system when the kid gets older?
But am I just being naive and foolish in thinking that concerts will ever be a place where the “cool” barrier doesn’t exist and parents and kids and co-exist and enjoy live music together at any age?
Of course, the crux of this co-existing and concerts influencing the family system depends on what band is playing and if both the parents and kids are getting the same amount of pleasure from the music.
Well, what do you think?
Do you have kids? Do you take them to concerts?
Would you go to a concert with your parents?
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