Bringing Kids to ACL Can Make Some Sticky-Icky Situations

Categories: ACL Fest

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Photo by Angelica Leicht
I just really wanted to use this photo on something.
Seeing all the ACL kids running around in the Zilker Park grass, playing football with pierced and tatted dads, or showing off their dancing skills with mom, was a bit of a surprise. As a parent who has kind of a rad job, I suppose I have never really considered taking my child to work with me at a concert. As silly as it sounds, being at a show like ACL is also like being at my office; I am there to work. I just get to do so in the coolest setting ever.

But it makes sense that people who aren't working while at ACL would want to bring along their little ones. The festival is pretty family-friendly, and it's a great way to expose kids to something other than Kidz Bop or sugary pop music. Perhaps these folks are prepping their kids for a lifetime of decent musical taste. And as far as festivals go, this has definitely been one of the tamer ones I've been to. There's been nary a topless chick as far as the eye can see. Everyone has been pretty well-behaved, hanging out and enjoying the music while downing a few beers in the sun.

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Photo by Angelica Leicht
Kids everywhere and anywhere at ACL
So, on the surface, bringing your kids along to play in the sunshine at a music festival is a really decent idea. The tykes get a bit of musical exposure, the parents aren't stuck in the house loathing life, and the world is good. Plus all these kids look really cute in their big noise-canceling headphones and band T-shirts. Big, big bonus for all the cute kid fashion out there. I've seen plenty of pink and green hair, and some really rad kid-mohawks. High fives for that.

But something struck a nerve with me yesterday. Buried deep inside the crowd, someone brought an infant into the throngs of people watching Kendrick Lamar. And I mean deep in the throngs of people. Like, heavy weed smoke in the air, joints as far as the eye could see, and right in the damn middle? A baby.

I know, I know. Don't judge, right? But I am judging right now because that's insane to me, as a parent and a concertgoer. I dig the idea of exposing kids to music at a young age. It's great for character and brain development. But you know what's not great for brain development? Reefer madness.

Kush smoke, even secondhand, is not for tiny little babies, folks. Keep your kids out of the middle of a damn Kendrick Lamar concert, for their safety and for the freedom of the folks around you. They shouldn't have to check themselves at an open-air concert because you have a little baby right where they're hanging out. It's asinine.

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2 comments
MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

I'd like to say I'm appalled with two P's but after a dozen years in the courts, I'm not. What is appalling is how concert "parent" will justify this even if/when the kid tests positive for illegal substances.   

Heather Dunn
Heather Dunn

Or when it's tiny babies, diaper only, obviously burned sweating and overheated, rubbing their ears bc they are burned and the music hurts their ears, on the shoulders of an adult that is too selfish and stupid not to put a baby through that. I haven't forgotten that image for years.

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