Age restrictions: know your limits

With autumn just around the corner, popular concert cities are booked to the brim with bands starting their fall tours. This Friday, Austin starts it’s two weekend long music festival, Austin City Limits which runs from Oct. 3-5 and 10-12 and features artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and Mac Demarco. During Nov. 7-9, FFF Fest (better known as Fun Fun Fun Fest) is also held in Austin, and features many other artists including Judas Priest, The Black Lips, and Death Cab For Cutie. With various genres ranging from metal to rap to indie, there’s always something that everyone can enjoy.

However, while you may already be searching these festival and tour schedules for your own favorite artists, you might also notice age restrictions on some shows. Depending on the genre of music, it is very common to see shows enforcing 18 or 21 and over age limits. Bummer, right? But don’t be too upset with these restrictions, they are there for the safety of everyone.

It may not seem fair, and you may be bummed for a while, but just try to think rationally.  The artist you’re stalking will tour again. Missing a concert when you’re a few months from eighteen is not the end of the world. Time will go on, and by the time your favorite artist comes to town again you will be ready for it. Mentally, and legally.

While popular pop artists that appeal to a younger audience may have large, family-safe concerts in squeaky clean stadiums, the grungier side of the music scene does not cater to the same stereotype. What you might find at a One Direction concert is a in a totally different spectrum than that of a FIDLAR concert. We’re talking moshpits, alcohol, and drugs; all within an adult crowd. If the show you want to go to is being held at a bar, there’s going to be people drinking. With alcohol, drugs might not be too far behind. Depending on the type of music, generally rock, there will be some moshing. Intoxicated adults, inebriated by the music, deliberately slamming into each other means a bad time for a smaller, younger person who is not prepared for that level of horseplay.

Surf/skate punk band FIDLAR. Photo taken from

And moshpits can hurt. Inside that swaying vortex of sweat, punching, groping, and occasionally broken bones can occur. Without sugar coating it, concerts can get dangerous. You have to know what you’re getting into when you engulf yourself in that type of scene. Don’t go to a heavy metal concert expecting to keep your own personal bubble intact and have an unlimited supply of fresh air. Your toes will get stepped on, you will touch other people, and you will go home smelling like your surroundings. It’s understandable that younger people be sheltered from those risks. Getting hurt at seventeen in a crazy crowd could leave a venue with lawsuits or worse. It’s better to wait for an all age concert or just wait until you turn the designated age to attend.

However, if you’re ok with that of atmosphere, and the show you want to go to adheres to your age, by all means go see that artist you’ve been dying to see and have a great time. With street smarts and common social knowledge applied, injuries and bad experiences can be avoided 100 percent. Most shows are usually pretty chill, because everyone there went there for the same reason as you: to have a good time. The music will be rad, the people that you’re squished against will be super friendly, and you will not get hurt if you’re respectful and smart about your surroundings. If you put aside your fears and just enjoy the music that you came to hear, you will have an awesome concert experience.


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About Hallie Colbert

Hey everyone! My name is Hallie, I'm a Senior, and this is my first year writing for the MacArthur newspaper.

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