The Pros and Cons of 21+ Shows
You just found out your favorite DJ is stopping by on his latest tour and you run to your computer to purchase tickets. The webpage where the tickets are being sold is staring you in the face and somehow this moment, which should have been a joyous occasion, is one gigantic disappointment. Right under the DJ’s name and the date of the show is a little disclaimer that reads, “21 and over,” and you are not 21.
Playing shows in venues, such as bars or nightclubs, with strict 21+ policies have both benefits and downfalls. One major benefit is that alcohol service is almost guaranteed, not to mention you won’t be carded every time you buy a drink. Suspicious bartenders won’t stare you down as you walk away with multiple drinks and annoying X’s on your hands are a thing of the past.
Furthermore, the crowd and ambiance as a whole may be completely different. An older, typically more serious crowd is common in these small bar settings and the show may be significantly more intimate. Genres like deep house thrive in such places and many of the people who attend these shows have been around the EDM scene since the 90’s. You can expect true fans to attend.
But that does not mean a 21+ show is not a flat out bummer for many of us. Music taste does not correlate with age and for many under 21 year olds it can be very frustrating to be denied wonderful live music simply because of your age. In all actuality, this almost encourages identity theft as people scramble to find fake IDs or borrow a friend’s.
An artist offering to play twice in that area, once at a 21+ venue and another at an all ages venue, would correct this qualm. Or more simply, just do not book venues with such high age restrictions. After all, there is no age limit on loving music.
By: Haley Monahan