Teens and Concert Safety
Now is a good time to start a conversation with your teen about concert safety. School bells will stop ringing and concert venues will be packed. Concerts are thrilling. Unfortunately, they’re a haven for underage drinking, drugs, and fighting. Here are a few safety tips that may help you decide whether or not your teen will be permitted to go solo or chaperoned to the concert of choice. These tips may also help you decide if going to the concert is a bad idea all-together.
Who? – Who is your teen making plans with? How well do you know the people your child is going with?
Even if you have a “straight-A”, well behaved and trusted child, there are now social networks where the fans of musicians make plans to meet at concerts. You never know who may be lurking behind a computer, so very casually ask your teen who is going and if they plan on meeting anyone at the show. If they willingly tell you they are meeting a “street team” or a fan club, politely (but firmly) request information about the person(s) your teen plans on meeting. Do your homework. Speak to the parents of the social networking friend your teen plans on meeting before the concert. Even if your teen insists they have spoken to their new friend, speak to the parents! Under no circumstances should you permit your child to go to a concert, unattended to meet a stranger. As adults that is a risky move, this is your child!
Peer pressure at a concert is inflated. When in a concert setting, the peer pressure goes from a few friends to an entire crowd. If you know the friends that your teen is going with, be sure to speak to the other parents about enforcing rules with their kids. Also, have a group meeting with all of kids that are going to the concert to enforce your own rules. If your teen wants to attend a concert but none of their friends do, there are choices: (1) a parent goes and has a blast with their child (2) a supervising adult that you know takes your child (3) your child doesn’t go. Just because there are a group of kids going from the same school, doesn’t give yours a hall pass to the concert.
What? – What kind of fans are attracted to the entertainment? How big is the venue?
The 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles, California drew more than 180,000 people. A 15-year old girl died of a drug overdose, and hundreds of injuries were reported from “fence hopping”. The Electric Daisy Carnival is a “rave” concert. Most rave concerts are legally held, though activities at a rave definitely cross into illegality when underage kids are served alcohol or when drug use is rampant. Case in point? The type of concert and the amount of time the concert is expected to last should be considered. Though the entertainers at the Electric Daisy Carnival may not support underage drinking or drug use, the fan base and amount of people plays a key role in just how safe the concert is going to be.
Where? – Is the concert within 30 miles from your home? Will the concert be indoors or outdoors?
If the concert is more than 30 miles from your home, talk to the driver about the details. Indoor concerts seem to have more security measures. There is usually more security at indoor concerts and no smoking policies are strictly enforced. It is also more difficult to obtain alcohol at indoor venues, not impossible, more difficult. While outdoor concerts have security on hand, there is more laxity and there is also open air to smoke.
There are so many “who, what, where” questions to ask, but the most obvious questions and concerns should always be addressed. Again, if you if you trust your teen, it is the other people that we, as Mother’s have to worry about. Allowing your teen to build concert memories is what life is all about. You have been there, right? Take the time to review the tips provided and approach your teen being subtle, but firm. Make sure your teen has a cell phone and ask for them to CALL you before they enter the concert, at some point during the concert, and after the concert.
SAFETY FIRST! Wonderful memories later!