By Alexandra Rouse, Salem High School
Recently, I had the opportunity to sell merchandise at a musician’s show in downtown Roanoke. More than ecstatic, I couldn’t refuse the offer. How many teenagers can say that they sold merch for one of their favorite artists? It wasn’t until after I said yes that I realized that the venue was at a local bar.
I immediately assumed that being younger than 21 would result in many complications. But after getting my situation cleared with the establishment, everything was fine as long as I was with the band.
Sitting behind the merch table the night of the event, I wondered why live music is so often limited to an audience that is strictly over 21.
“Live music has become an adult thing to attend, mainly because teenagers don’t have the time, money or transportation to attend the shows,” said Allison Raines, a senior at Salem High School. “By the time people are over 21, most of them have cars and jobs, so they can buy tickets for live music.”
Raines, a music enthusiast, has seen a number of shows live in a variety of genres. In the Roanoke area, she has seen Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers, the Avett Brothers and James Taylor, along with numerous artists that she has seen out of town, including Bruce Springsteen and U2, to name a few.
“In the past, my parents have literally helped me get into live shows because in most cases they’ve provided me the money and transportation. It wasn’t until last summer at the Old Crow Medicine Show concert that I drove myself to the Civic Center,” said Raines. “But, my mom still paid for our tickets, thankfully.”
Michael Drougas, a junior at Salem High School, believes that instead of money, technology plays a larger role in the lack of teens at live shows. Read more »