What Age Should Kids Be Allowed to Attend Concerts Alone?
by Lisa Fogarty
I spent a large portion of my teen years in awe of girls who were brave enough to either crowd surf or jump into the mosh pit at rock concerts. At 15, I wasn't allowed to attend concerts without an adult, but I did it anyway. And though I wished I was more like those girls who wanted to prove they could do what all of the boys were doing, most had the same story to tell after they moshed or allowed the audience to hoist them up and pass them above the crowd like a hunk of bread: at some point, someone tried to cop a cheap feel. It was just par for the course and most girls knew it.
Apparently, Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of the band Staind, knows it too. At a recent show as part of Rockfest 2014, he called some of the guys in the crowd "pieces of s**t" for "molesting" a girl who looked to be 15 as she crowd surfed. An extreme (but awesome) reaction? Perhaps. But Lewis' message serves as a reminder to parents that concerts are NOT places for young teens.
Lewis actually threatened to call out the boys (men?) who had felt up the young girl, and even went as far as to say he would beat them up if they did it again. Rather than leave it up to a rock singer to police what our kids are doing, parents need to understand that, with few exceptions, rock venues are not a good hang-out spot for super-young teens.
As we all know, at 14, 15, and even 16, a child's judgment is ... well, questionable. The desire to fit in or seem cool overrides mostly everything else, and few teens are going to think about the fact that moshing could result in a serious head injury, or that crowd surfing is a good way to either fall flat on your face or back OR have your privates mishandled by 25 strangers. No 15-year-old is equipped to deal with having their bodies treated that way -- hell, few adults would know what to do if that happened to them.
I can understand allowing your 17- or 18-year-old child to attend a concert IF the venue is under-21 and not serving alcohol. But at any concert in which bartenders have to check bracelets to determine who can drink: you're asking for trouble. Even if your teen has one heck of a head on his shoulders, you never know what is going to happen when you get a bunch of people together and add vodka, rock music, and a floor that becomes packed with people in minutes.
Anything can happen and it's not worth it -- no matter how great the band.
Here's a video of Lewis' tirade, which has gone viral -- it contains lots of profanity, so be careful:
At what age do you think teens should be allowed to attend rock concerts on their own?