Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I am a live music and festival junkie and go to as much as I physically can. I went to the standard few crappy pop shows when I was pre-16 (your Hear’say, Steps, S Club 7 etc) but it was in October 2006 when I was 16 that I went to my first ‘proper’ show which was Panic! At The Disco at Brixton Academy. Firstly it makes me so happy that it’s a band who are still around to this day, but it was a struggle to get my parents to allow me to go. My parents weren’t overly strict but the idea of me going into London alone to a show (especially in Brixton) filled them with dread. They only agreed on the pretense that they picked me up from the venue. For the next 6-9 months whenever I went to live music shows this was the deal I could only go if a parent would collect us from the venue itself.
When I turned 18 however things changed a lot. My parents relaxed a lot more and allowed me to go on my own which is when I started going to a lot of shows and by the time I was 19 and at university, I was going to a few shows a month. I loved the freedom which live music allowed me, I could head to a venue to meet like-minded people who loved the same band as me and sing-a-long at the top of my lungs to songs which I couldn’t get enough of.
My parents thought over time the novelty of shows would wear thin but this wasn’t the case and when I was 21 I started writing for online publications and the idea that I could go to shows without having to shell out the money allowed me to explore my musical tastes more. I no longer only had to go and see the bands I would fork out loads of money to see and I could expand my horizons and push myself out of my comfort zone to see bands I wouldn’t usually have. My career within the publications I wrote for expanded and now I’m at a point where yes I do buy some tickets if I don’t want to review a band or if I know I want to stand and certain venues will only give seated for press etc, but I do get a lot of tickets in exchange for photos or a review. A great deal for me.
I think the magic of live music is the experience, back when I was 16-19 yes I would queue to shows and want the front row or I would battle myself into the middle and lose myself in the motion and movement of the crowd. Now at 26 I chose to enjoy the show from the side/ further back/ the bar but it doesn’t change the magic of the music. Seeing hundreds (or thousands) of people singing along and seeing a band who have worked so hard achieve a dream is magic. I have been fortunate to see some of the most amazing shows, experience bands I never thought I would and be a part of music memories.
While I have started to tone down my shows to 3-5 a month (yes this is toned down) I can’t see myself ever not going to shows. I’ll be the one who looks like a parent without the child in tow, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.