Taking Babies and Children to Shows
From the second I found out I was pregnant with Luna, I knew that it would be incredibly important to me to pass on my love of music to her as early as possible. This included taking her to shows, so she could experience it live, a feeling I believe to be utterly unrivalled.
I grew up listening, mainly, to hardcore punk; my taste remaining relatively unchanged since my teens. It’s been really fun to watch some of my idols mellow in their private lives (although not on stage, never on stage) and become parents themselves. As a result of this, I feel like the scene is pretty open to kids being a part of it. However, I did have some concerns. Namely, venues having an issue with an under 18 being there, how best to look after her safety and how others would respond to us.
We rang around a few venues to start with, and got a lot of knock backs with venues having 14 or 18+ rules. We began to get disheartened and almost gave up on the idea of taking her. However, we struck gold with one of our absolute favourite local venues, Sound Control, after I won tickets to see K Flay there and had no-one to babysit. I messaged a sound tech I knew, who worked there. They said there were no issues, whatsoever, with her going as long as we took ear defenders. At this gig it was relatively quiet, so we were able to stand at the back and enjoy the bands with no worries about being in a crowd. However at other shows, we have learnt to station ourselves near the sound desk ( a trick I have learnt after having multiple knee injuries – meaning I am firmly in mosh retirement). We have even been motioned into the barrier section and had a stool given to us when one of the techs saw that Luna had fallen asleep on me.
With the venue question answered, the next question became, what to take with us. Luna was only 5 months old when we took her to her first show, so we took bottles, usual nappy bag bits, and a carrier. She wasn’t in a sleep routine at this stage yet, so I wasn’t really worried about her being up late. We would have been anyway! We now encourage a later nap than usual and still take the carrier in case she needs a snooze. Bottles have been replaced with snacks, but everything else is still the same. Lastly, but most importantly, we use ear defenders. Ear defenders are so important. Not only to reduce noise-induced hearing loss, but also to minimise the general sensory overload that can be the gig environment. The carrier and ear defender combo has also meant that she has been able to nap while we are at gigs, stopping her from being irritable and cranky. This is definitely helpful when worrying about how others would react to a baby amongst their midst.
I wish I could say I don’t care about the reactions of others, or how they feel about Luna being there, but the truth is I do. However, people’s reactions have been overwhelmingly positive – from people mouthing how cute she is to us from across the room, to others telling us about their own experiences bringing their children. We recently took her to see H2O and met a guy there who told us that his first gig with his son had been CroMags when his son was 6 weeks old. His, now 25 year old, son was at the gig with him and hadn’t missed an opportunity to go with his dad to a show in all that time. Conversely, we also got chatting with a couple who were expecting their first baby. They were so pleased to see us and said it showed them that they didn’t have to give up something they love just because they were becoming parents.
Honestly, when it came to taking a baby to a show for the first time, I was riddled with anxiety, expecting all of the worst case scenarios. Like, having to come home, tails between legs, having seen no bands. But it could not have gone better or been easier, due in part to a wonderfully accommodating venue. It has also shown us, with a bit of preparation, we can do almost everything we loved to do pre-Luna but with one extra gig buddy.
Taking A Baby To A Show
Have you taken your kid to a gig? At what age did you take a baby to a show?
*Be sure to bring some protective ear gear when taking a baby to a show. We love a variety of brands including Banz Mini Earmuffs