Please Help Me Educate The Concert Newbies (And The Straight Up Idiots).
Is it just me, or does it seem like there is a rash of people who are clueless? Disasters bring them out. Concerts bring them out. The internet is lousy with them. More after the jump.
I'll bet you know that, much like the movies, the refreshments at the concert help pay for the event. You've also probably figured out that they can't have people going in and out of concerts because it increases the chances of them bringing something dangerous in, swapping wristbands or ticket stubs with others or even drinking in their car (then, when they wreck, suing the venue for over-serving them). I'll bet you figured out that you can't take chairs because people get drunk and throw the chairs or beat each with the chair legs. I'm sure you've figured out all of this and more. I don't even mind explaining it to people, but when they continue to harp on it gets a little frustrating. How do you get through even six grade without developing some common sense? So you think a concert should "give away water"? Well I think a rainbow stripped unicorn should crap candy bars for snacks. Did you ask the movie theater for free water? Maybe you should go to the supermarket and scoop up a bunch of bottles and take them for 'free'.
As a radio station people come to us with these questions and complaints. First, it's not our decision. Secondly, while we can sometimes provide answers, it's STILL NOT OUR DECISION.
Then there are the lugheads who think they've figured out some kind of conspiracy. One such person wanted to call us out for "having more than enough paint (for decorating), but no free water". Well, Mr. Knowledge, do you know what would go into us giving you "free water"? First, it's not "free", somebody it paying for it, delivering it and paying for it to be cooled. Next, the tour rider stipulates that EVERYTHING be poured into plastic cups (a sealed water bottle is nothing more than a projectile waiting to happen). Also we can't bring water through the gates because it could just as easily be Vodka or something else that could get the venue in trouble with the TABC. Oh, and how many waters would you and the other 5000 people like? I think you can see why we're not in charge of water and why they charge for it.
I think I got a little carried away with one specific example. It's just too easy for people to be lazy and point fingers. If we don't answer a question, the say we don't care. If we answer a question, they blame us for the answer. We are fortunate in Lubbock that we can be a bit of a "go-between" with concerts and venues, but we can do is a little limited. We made it very clear to the big promoters this morning that we're not going to promote any more shows that have a "minor fee". Does that mean the "minor fee" is going away? Absolutely not. Any of these folks can still do what they want, but they'll face reduced radio and record label support it they don't straighten it out. So, if you get charged a "minor fee" from here on out, is it the radio stations fault? Nope. we've done what we can do. We can flex our muscles and try to help out a bit, but in the end it's not our responsibility. This is but a small example of how we TRY to make things better.
So going back to the two main issues people are having with this concert (wanting to go in and out and refreshments), there are too many costs and security concerns with having "open gates", and yes, they are there to make money. Let's look at the second issue now. Have you ever heard of a "Fire Marshall"? Do you know they can demand an accurate count of how many people are in a venue and if they think you're lying, too full, or not keeping count, they can call for a "dump"? That means EVERY SINGLE PERSON has to leave the venue and go back through security one by one. That is the perfect way to ruin a show. Then there's the getting loaded in the car and becoming a liability, the increased chance of bringing weapons in and on and on and on.
I am just picking out some specific points. There a million reasons why every thing that happens at a concert happens. I could literally write a book. I just hope you know that at the end of the day we're trying to look out for you, but fair is fair. If someone is nice enough to bring 20+ bands to town, then I think they deserve to charge whatever they want for refreshments and maintain a secure atmosphere. If you don't agree, you have the ultimate tool at your disposal-just don't go.
Now to my friends out there, I asked you to please help. I don't come off as the big compassionate caring sweetie that I am in print. When one of these questions comes up, please help fill other in so I don't have to be the bad guy every time.
Thanks, and a big bear hug to you this Saturday and Sunday.