Music-loving, concert-going parents naturally want to pass this trait down to their kids. Before embarking upon the first rock show experience (rock show definition: no costumed characters, no Disney songs, no nursery rhymes, no boy bands), here are 10 rules to consider.
1. Choose The Right Venue
Festivals are a great place to start. Some are stroller friendly, and the toddler/preschool set will enjoy being outdoors. But remember; you may be able to brave bad weather or a heat wave, but consider that your kid might not.
2. Select appropriate seats. If you have the option, go for an aisle seat. You don’t want to interrupt other concertgoers with bathroom breaks and leg stretches. Avoid standing-room-only sections.
3. Listen to the album ahead of time.
If your kid isn’t overly familiar with the set list, play the music in the car and have a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. Concerts are always more fun if you know the words, even for us grown-ups.
4. Be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Kids are unpredictable. Don’t invest hundreds of dollars on your favourite band, because you might cut the night short due to boredom, sickness, missed bedtimes, etc.
5. Invest in ear protection.
Depending on the age of your child and your proximity to the stage, headphones or earplugs might be a good idea.
6. Prep your child for what’s to come. Let your kid know there may be fireworks, crazy lighting and very loud noises.
7. Understand that questions are on the way. Your kid may be exposed to some language or behaviour they aren’t used to. On the car ride home, be prepared to answer questions like, “Why did that guy say f*** so many times” or “Why were those girls wearing their bathing suits?” You may also have to explain the drunk antics of fellow audience members.
8. Bring $40 for a t-shirt.
Sure, as a parent you probably pass on the overpriced merch, but for a first concert, your kid deserves a t-shirt even if they are too young to realize what they’re wearing. You can even break the “Don’t wear the band’s t-shirt to their concert” rule.
9. Forgo the encore. Granted, you may miss the band’s “best” songs, but you’ll also get out of the venue more quickly, and without having your kid trampled.
10. Encourage your kid’s rockstar instincts. After the show, your child may show interest in learning guitar, or piano, or (God help you) the drums. Nurture that need to rock!