altrocklife’s guide to going to gigs with grown-ups

If you’re under 18, you’ve probably attended a gig with your parent(s), a guardian, other relative or parents of friends.  Now, this post isn’t a parent-bashing rant: I’m well aware that I wouldn’t have been able to attend lots of the gigs I have without parental supervision.  In fact, I wouldn’t be going to see Foo Fighters in June if my Mum and Stepdad hadn’t paid for the tickets.  Plus, I couldn’t have gone to Of Mice & Men in Nottingham last Thursday if my Dad hadn’t been around to give us a lift.  Ah, the woes of not being able to drive and living in the middle of nowhere.

However, I’m definitely more fortunate than others, as my parents and I share a lot of the same music taste.  The vast majority of the time, if I ask a parent if they can accompany me to a gig their response is about as enthusiastic as mine.  In fact, I think my Mum is more excited about seeing Foo Fighters live than I am, and that’s saying something!

But if you’re stuck with a parent or guardian who isn’t into the same music as you are, they might end up channelling this member of security staff, below, which could make the experience a lot less fun for everyone involved.

Security staff member at an event facepalms with Black Veil Brides performing in the background
It’s OK, security person, it’ll all be over soon.

Here are my top tips for making a gig the best it can be, not only for you, but for the adults supervising you:

Try and pay for your own ticket if you can, or at least contribute to transport costs

Parents and guardians will be more likely to agree to take you to a gig if you can pay your own way.  If you’re being taken by the family of a friend, offering to pay for your own train ticket or handing over some petrol money will show that you’re responsible, and understand the costs that these grown-ups have to incur for you to attend this gig.  The more you can demonstrate this, the more likely they’ll start allowing you to go to gigs by yourself sooner.

Listen to the band’s music with them before the gig

Whether this means putting on the band’s CD in the car, or sharing headphones on the train while you listen to their latest single, giving the grown-up some of the band’s music to listen to (and listening to it with them) will make them feel included.  They’re more likely to accompany you to gigs again if you don’t act like you’re just using them as a glorified taxi.

Find stuff for the grown-ups to do while you’re at the concert

This point doesn’t apply if the accompanying grown-up has a ticket for the gig themselves, but only if they’re acting as chauffeurs.  If you’re attending a gig in an unfamiliar town or city, your grown-up may feel like their only option is to sit in the car until it’s over, which sucks for them!  Do a little research before the gig and find some nice restaurants, a cinema, some evening tourist attractions and maybe a sports bar for your grown-up(s) to visit while you’re busy enjoying the concert.

Be prepared for the grown-up to start an argument with other concert-goers

True story: my Mum started a fight with the guy sat behind me when we saw My Chemical Romance at Nottingham Capital FM Arena because he kept drunkenly hitting me in the back of the head and pouring his beer over me.  Parents and guardians will be extra protective and territorial at gigs, so beware.

And last but not least, BE THANKFUL!

Make sure at every step of the way you’re making it clear that you’re aware the grown-up of choice is giving up their evening, and possibly their money, for you.  Be appreciative, and they’ll be more likely to accompany you again, next time your favourite band is in town.

What are your experiences of attending gigs with grumpy grown-ups? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: GoldImagine Dragons

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