Should I take my five year old daughter to a Red Rocks concert?
June 16, 2015 4:08 PM   Subscribe

I have a spare ticket for Belle & Sebastian at Red Rocks tomorrow night. It's assigned seating. My five year old daughter loves music, dancing and what Belle & Sebastian she's listened to. I'm not worried about her being at the concert -- just that it will be a late night. Am I being selfish -- bringing her along because I'd enjoy her enjoying it?

Doors open at 6.30pm, show starts at 7.30, I imagine B&S will be on around 8.30... there'll be traffic after the gig so I can't imagine we would get home before 11 but I could leave before encores I guess.

She's normally in bed by 8. We typically get up around 6 / 6.30am. She will be at daycare the next day. While I'd let her sleep in of course, I don't imagine she would. So it would no doubt knock her out the next day. (I could potentially pick her up early from school the following day and put her down for a nap I guess.)

Obviously, I know my daughter best but still--I'd welcome insight from other parents who may have done (or not done) something similar.

(Hey, if anyone wants the ticket you're welcome btw.)
posted by NailsTheCat to Human Relations (28 answers total)
Bring her! Maybe forever and ever she'll remember that rockin Belle & Sebastian show she went to at Red Rocks with mom/dad when she was 5! But she definitely won't remember that tired Wednesday she had the day after. I'm not a parent, but I am a daughter who has very happy memories of going to concerts with her dad as a kid.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 4:14 PM on June 16, 2015 [15 favorites]

If I wanted to do this I'd do two things, one, I'd plan on leaving the concert early whenever the sky looked gray - if you know what I mean - and keeping her home the following day.

I'd give it a shot for the hell of it if you really want to, but if you can't soften the parameters you're probably going to pay for it the following day along with everyone she comes in contact with, when you too are sleepy and bleary eyed and short-fused.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:16 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Aww, I think you should bring her! It's a special occasion, she'll have fun, and while she might be grumpy the next day the missed bedtime for a night will soon sort itself out. Have fun!
posted by warble at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think you should bring your kid. It's such a great space and people tend to be friendly. What a neat imprint this will make on her imagination -- music under the open sky!

I would just be obliging if she wants to leave early. Also between the opener and the main act always feels like it takes foreeeeeever, so maybe that's a good time to do a quiet activity.
posted by mochapickle at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

omg, take her!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've done similar things with a similar aged child. He enjoyed it for about 1/2 an hour then fell asleep. Be prepared for that happening and don't be disappointed if it does. My son still enjoyed the show - all 1/2 hour of it. I think it all the energy and new place and excitement just pooped him out.
posted by Sassyfras at 4:25 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

Count me in on the "take her"!

I rarely regret the special occasions and late nights we have spent with our kids, even if the next day or two is a little trying.
posted by sauril at 4:26 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Concerts are super loud. Can you get a set of ear protectors before the show? Peltor is another brand for hearing protection earmuffs that has a kids' product.

We used to have a set and I've seen lots of other hipster-looking parents toting around their kids of various ages at concerts wearing these things. I think it's a good idea for everyone, but especially younger kids.
posted by GuyZero at 4:31 PM on June 16, 2015 [19 favorites]

I should add these days I also wear in-ear protection earbuds at concerts since I am teh oldz and wish I had worn them more regularly when I was younger.
posted by GuyZero at 4:37 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've been to a B&S show on this tour and I think it'll be super fun. It's very accessible music, there will presumably be some pretty nice videos bring projected, Stuart's a super genial frontman and I remember coming out and noticing that unlike when I normally come out of a gig, my hearing was totally unaffected.
posted by ambrosen at 4:43 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I haven't seen B&S in a long time, but I don't remember their concerts being particularly loud. That being said, ear plugs are a good thing to have in case it does get loud.

You know your kid best, but a late night now and again ought to be OK, and if she does end up falling asleep during the concert then it wouldn't be that late of a night anyway. Can she nap at daycare if she feels like it?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:03 PM on June 16, 2015

Take her! I've been to a lot of Belle and Sebastian shows, and I have definitely seen children in the audience, especially the outdoor ones.

I usually wear ear plugs at shows, but don't really need them for B&S.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Definitely take her! Having been to a lot of red rocks shows lately, I'd say bring ear protection. I use the ubiquitous orange foam plugs, but for a little one I'd use the big muffs if she's comfortable with them - less chance for user error.

I'd also bring snacks and a blanket.
posted by Adamsmasher at 5:30 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

+1 ear protection, but 'yes'. don't be shy about walking around, too. it's a pretty slack venue, with some cool nooks and crannies. also, the large concession area at the top has great views east and west. cools off notoriously quickly after dark, so jackets fer sure. i bring plastic ponchos, too, cuz we all remember 'Under a Blood Red Sky', right?
posted by j_curiouser at 6:08 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

The only other issue with Red Rocks is perhaps the excess smoking of a variety of plant substances, try to find a spot upwind of all the impolite people. Take water, and a comfy blanket to sit on I would suggest.
posted by nickggully at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not a parent, but once a kid, and now an adult with memories -- Do it! This is the kind of thing that makes memories. In 15+ years she wont remember any one particular day of daycare, but there's a good chance she'll still remember the concert!
posted by cgg at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I took my eleven-year-old to the Belle and Sebastian concert in NYC last week -- he heard the opening act and a couple of B&S songs, and then fell very soundly asleep for the rest of the concert, despite being surrounded by people standing up and dancing and screaming approval and drinking beer. He still had a great time. She may well fall asleep -- but take her anyway!
posted by leslieporter at 6:24 PM on June 16, 2015

If Red Rocks doesn't work out for you, or even if it does, and you like folk music at all, you should check out the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest up in Lyons Colorado. It's a 3 day thing but you can choose to go just one day. Music and dancing in the mountains all day long and lots of activities for kids, though most of them just hang out in the creek (water shoes or sandals are a must).
The Colorado Irish Festival is also a pretty kid friendly music/dance thing.
posted by BoscosMom at 6:51 PM on June 16, 2015

This adult Belle and Sebastian fan didn't get tickets to this show (or any other Red Rocks concert) purely because of the likely smoke. If that's not an issue, then bring good, comfortable hearing protection (for all of you, not just the kid!) and have fun.

I've heard Red Rocks is beautiful -- if this show turns out not to be a smoky mess, then please let me know! I've given up on any midsize-or-larger concerts in the area that aren't in the kind of indoor seated venues where they'll kick out smokers.
posted by asperity at 7:51 PM on June 16, 2015

Wow. What a wonderful outpouring of encouragement -- thanks so much guys. It's a daddy daughter date then! A few responses:

Ear plugs: I was last at Red Rocks only a couple of weeks ago (Ryan Adams) and I've seen B&S a few times 10+ years ago and decided she won't need earplugs. But upon reading the comments I realise it would stupid to take the risk so I'll take some along. (My ears have never been the same since the last My Bloody Valentine gig I attended. Fool. How can I my ears judge the volume she can tolerate.)

Take water: Alas, you're not allowed to take in water. Even when you buy the pricey bottles of water there, they open them and keep the tops!

Falling asleep: That would be ideal! But Red Rocks is just benches so doesn't really lend itself to that. I'll take a blanket though so we'll see!

Sleeping at daycare: They do take 1½ hour naps at lunch but she can't nap indefinitely. I think what I'll do is bring her home if she's shattered and have her sleep a but longer.

Seriously folks -- thanks so much. I feel really good about this now.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:56 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

Asperity, at the Ryan Adams gig a couple of weeks ago* I noticed a little weed but not too much. Perhaps it's better in assigned seating -- I didn't visit the general admission sections. It certainly didn't give me much concern and I expect B&S fans are less likely to smoke than RA fans... who knows.

*Stopped 2/3 way through because that terrible thunderstorm that was pounding Denver somehow made its way East.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:01 PM on June 16, 2015

Lest I mislead someone with my earlier note, the official Red Rocks web site has

* Non-alcoholic beverages in factory sealed plastic containers, not to exceed 32 oz. (one quart) (some shows may require the removal of lids upon entering the amphitheatre.)
* Empty plastic water bottles
* Empty aluminum water bottles

* Non factory-sealed beverage/liquid filled containers (including thermoses, bota bags or wine skins)

So I can take water providing it's not been opened.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2015

Or you could bring cups from for you and your daughter and fill them at the event. It feels pretty great to drink from a real mug when compared to those lidless plastic bottles. This is one of those times when environmental responsibility and life's little luxuries line up nicely.
posted by aniola at 8:35 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's been years since I was there, but last time I was there we brought in a little picnic with snacks and cake. It helped pass the time and it was kind of a dreamy way to enjoy the evening.
posted by mochapickle at 9:58 PM on June 16, 2015

Hey--I was just at Red Rocks last night with my 5 year old for The Princess Bride, AND we'll be at Belle and Sebastian tomorrow. However, not bringing the 5 year old tomorrow. Last night we brought in dinner--sandwiches, fruit, fruit dip, popcorn, sparkling water in a plastic bottle and Horizon milk. We also packed a blanket for her. The movie got a little scary for her, so we had to leave early, but I think the blanket would have helped her snuggle in if not for the Fire Swamp!
posted by fyrebelley at 10:35 PM on June 16, 2015

We take our boys to shows all the time. We've occasionally had weird looks from other show goers--especially parents of precious little ones who feel the need to tell us we're being irresponsible--but from our perspective it's been great. Now that the youngest is a teen and the oldest is out of the house, we've gotten a kick out of how much fun it is to take the two youngest to drag events, like the Wizard of Odd show at the Castro. They love it. They love feeling the privilege of hearing adults talking like there aren't any babies around.

Weed is ubiquitous, and it's not going to cause harm unless someone's actively blowing smoke in your kid's face.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:11 AM on June 17, 2015

Definitely bring her. I saw them this year at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and the kids that were there seemed to be having a great time. I also saw them at Coachella and actually took a nap during their set. It made for very soothing nap music.
posted by ad4pt at 11:09 AM on June 17, 2015

Post gig update: She loved it and wanted to stay and dance until the bitter end, in hope they played Funny Little Frog--they didn't. Ear plugs were necessary; we took them but some staff offered them to my daughter too. I took pajamas so she could sleep in them on the way home. She woke up a little later this morning but didn't seem as tired as I did...

Thanks again all -- you helped me make a great decision.
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:24 PM on June 18, 2015 [12 favorites]

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