We went to another local summer concert this evening. It was intended for all ages, not just families. However, there were 20 or 30 kids there under the age of 4, and this concert did so many things right for them to have a good experience.
What I noted:
- Free admission – just show up, no tickets, no hassles.
- It started early – 6pm – and did not run very late.
- No lines, no security checks.
- Outside on a hill with lots of space.
- Easy to exit if necessary.
- Advertised as “bring your supper and listen to the music.”
- A wide variety of music from traditional classical to folk to Star Wars.
- Low key venue that allowed for active kids nearby.
- Restrooms (ok, they are portapotties, but better than nothing).
- Tolerance, even encouragement of children’s participation: from the conductor at the close, a sincere “Thank you” for the dancing in front of the stage.
- Amplification of the music so everyone could hear despite some background noise (street traffic, children playing).
We had a good evening listening to the music and watching the little kids run in circles.
But even better, these kids and their parents are going to have a memory of a pleasant, happy evening. Seems much more likely that they all will want to repeat it sometime. I can see that many of these items would more difficult to duplicate indoors and still have an enjoyable performance for everyone, but surely it would be worth some thought to try to make it easier for families to attend at least some performances. Ideas, anyone?