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HomeUncategorizedHalifax’s 19-plus tune is getting old

Halifax’s 19-plus tune is getting old

It is hard to go downtown in Halifax without hearing live music ooze from every concrete crack. It’s harder still for anyone under 19 to enjoy this music. After four years in this city, I have seen my fair share of concerts – often from behind a lens. Concerts form a pulsating backbone we all ride and dance. But this tune is often an exclusive one. Live music is mostly secluded inside Halifax bars where teenage music lovers can’t listen. And there is a definite lack of all age venues. By not catering to these underage patrons, the music scene loses a key demographic. These listeners are the future of our scene. If we don’t nurture them with strong venues and strong acts, we may lose dedicated music audiences forever. While many can purchase CDs or play MP3s and experience the music within their homes, it does little justice compared to seeing a live band. Pumping adrenaline and jostling sweaty bodies are part of the experience. Music bridges gaps between people, but we often split them up again through a division of age. All-ages venues are extremely important for many teenagers. Music is a form of escape, and it builds camaraderie among patrons. It forms an integral part of the teen years – often defining them. Halifax’s lack of all-ages spaces is an insurmountable wall that stifles the drive of a young listener. It is up to the city, venue owners and concert promoters to develop new all-ages spaces. These spaces need not be large, but they should be inclusive. It is important that these all-ages venues do not alienate older patrons. We can no longer afford to split the scene between young and old. We have to make a concerted effort to bridge the divide. By denoting more concerts as all-ages and making music festivals – such as The Pop Explosion – even more accessible to a younger demographic, we can build a stronger music scene here in Halifax. In the near future, I hope to see the city support a new all ages venue other than The Pavilion and The Rock Garden. It’s important that we continue to invest in the young culture of our city. All-ages venues offer a platform for people to enter the scene, learn from the older music lovers in attendance and build strong musical senses. We need to cultivate the drive of younger generations, or the scene may well become stale and irrelevant.

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