Old people can have fun too
March 13, 2012 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Where do people in their late 30s and 40s who have never learned to grow up go to have fun?

I'm in my late 30s. I like to go out with friends and dance, see bands, have a good time. We are all intellectually-minded people, in good health, upper middle class, but we have never really 'grown up'. We are not hedonists, but we do enjoy having a good time once in a while.

In years past, we had gone to multi-day concerts, but the scene has become ever younger. I'm feeling creepy hanging out, dancing, and partying with tweens.

So, where do we go? Are there concerts or destinations geared to our demographic?
posted by TheOtherSide to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
All Tomorrow's Parties skews older than other multi-day concerts, I find.
posted by *s at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

You're going to the wrong multi-day concerts. I'm 45, and fit in just fine at the hippie-fests my wife and I go to. We go to a dozen a year, every other weekend in the summer. Some, yes, for sure, are filled with kids, but there are smaller fests that are all us oldsters with fancy campers and nice cots and extensive camp kitchens and all that, an evolution, if you will, from the kind of events you're talking about. There are bands, and jam circles, and barbecue and free breakfast usually. If you brew beer or make wine (and all us middle-aged hippies do), bring some, and you'll make lots of friends.

If you're east coast, especially in the DC area, lemme know, and I'll invite you to one (and more, if you're cool).
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:32 AM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Seconding MrMoonPie, the hippiefests have what you're looking for. But smaller town music festivals are pretty nice too, when they're paired with other events. Smaller venues with up-and-coming acts alongside veterans. (But definitely not the ZZTop/REOSpeedwagon-type retro tour that plays the state fairs.) My small city's Down-by-Downtown music festival is scheduled alongside the Blue Ridge Marathon, for example.* Lots of people come to town who are old enough, and have enough money, that they don't want to sleep in a van down by the river anymore.

*All my links are nicely roadtrippable from DC so if those events are on the MoonPieFamily's itinerary then it's IRL meetup time.
posted by headnsouth at 10:24 AM on March 13, 2012

Burning Man.
posted by fshgrl at 10:29 AM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

yeah, Burning Man related events are exactly it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:33 AM on March 13, 2012

I would go to Disneyland Paris, though not by myself.
posted by tel3path at 10:40 AM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oops, please disregard, I typed impulsively without realizing you're only looking for concerts. I assume parades of people in rubber costumes doesn't do it for you... at least not that kind of rubber costumes.
posted by tel3path at 10:41 AM on March 13, 2012

Pretty much any time in New Orleans, but Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest in New Orleans are particularly good multi-day music fests that attract a varied crowd, from hippies of all ages to families to hipsters to yuppies/dinks. You didn't mention food, but both have great food available on-site as well as all of New Orleans's restaurants to choose from afterwards.
posted by CheeseLouise at 11:51 AM on March 13, 2012

Muddy Roots
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:52 AM on March 13, 2012

I'm mid-30s. Seconding ATP, it's a fantastic festival and decidedly non-hippie. Others that might work in that vein are Pitchfork, CMJ, etc. Also, since you have better means, I've found it great to go to festivals in other countries with friends, often getting a group of 20-ish people together for ATP in the UK.

But, when we were tweens those older people like us were still at clubs and shows. We just didn't notice them because it was unimportant to us at the time. Just like most of them don't notice you now. Granted, there are probably more older people going out these days, but that just makes it easier to go imho. I party when I go to festivals or shows, and for the other people who are also there for the music they just don't really care how old you are.
posted by sub-culture at 11:52 AM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wilco's Solid Sound Festival would be a good bet. It seemed to draw a wide range, from hipster kids to families with young kids to dudes in their 60s.
posted by susanvance at 12:19 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you have any interest in visiting the Bay area, you could do a lot worse than Outside Lands and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Both take place in Golden Gate Park, both feature big-name acts, and Hardly Strictly is even free!

I'm posting from my phone, so linking is a pain, but when you have a sec, google the lineups from the past few years and see if it's anything you like.

Since they take place in the city, you don't have to deal with that lovely concert festival campground scene that makes you feel like you're living in a poorly-run refugee camp.

Also, Outside Lands has really really good food.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:21 PM on March 13, 2012

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