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Why Artists Shouldn’t Have to Make Concerts Kid-Friendly

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Why Artists Shouldn’t Have to Make Concerts Kid-Friendly

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When a child is a little fussy on a plane, you might get a little annoyed, but ultimately, you understand that it’s a public space. But what is the protocol when children enter adult-centered spaces? The question is coming up as conversations are swirled online about concerts not being kid-friendly enough.

During her ongoing “Guts” Tour, Olivia Rodrigo is openly educating her fans about reproductive rights and providing emergency contraceptives, but that’s garnering criticism from parents. Some have deemed her actions inappropriate and too mature for her audience.

As a reminder, however, Rodrigo is 21 years old, and despite her beginnings as a child star, her music continues to mature with her as she explores different avenues of adulthood. Some may have assumed that since she started on Disney, her target audience would continue to be young kids and tweens.

Doja Cat also recently added to the conversation, tweeting that she doesn’t make music for kids, so parents should leave them at home instead of bringing them along to her shows.

The real question I don’t see asked often enough is, why is the responsibility being put on the artists?
Parents set the standard and are the gatekeepers for what content their child consumes. Think about it, if you’re watching TV with a 7-year-old, you’d pick a family-friendly PG-rated show over something labeled TV-MA. Even though artists and concerts don’t come with a parental advisory, parents should be doing more research to ensure that they are aware and comfortable with the content their child is interacting with.

Growing up, my mom would change the channel or tell me I couldn’t watch something if she deemed it inappropriate; she didn’t want me exposed to vulgar topics too early and was actively conscious of the bands, shows, and even celebrities I was drawn to.

Not only did this help her gauge what media I was consuming, but it also helped her understand me more as an individual. One Direction, Little Mix, and Glee weren’t her cup of tea, but she supported me, as they were my obsessions at the time (and still to this day, to be honest). Looking back, I appreciate her creating an environment where I could explore my interests without unintentionally growing up too fast. I understand now more than ever why she made sure that my sisters and I were in environments she knew were kid-friendly.

As an adult, I’m constantly aware of who I’m around and my surroundings so that I can adapt accordingly. When I’m in certain places, like concerts, I don’t want to have to do that. If I’m going to see Megan Thee Stallion, I will be doing hot girl shit and having the time of my life. I shouldn’t have to adjust what I’m wearing, censor lyrics, or tone down my dancing because I’m in a space that wasn’t intended for kids in the first place.

Bringing children into spaces that have alcohol, explicit music, or any adult-centered activities not only exposes them to things that aren’t age-appropriate, but also impacts the experience of the other adults. There are so many activities and events that are kid-friendly — why bring a child into a space that’s not meant for them? There is nothing wrong with wanting to share a new and fun experience with your child, but ultimately, if it doesn’t benefit them and affects other attendees, what is the purpose?

It is a parent’s job to guide and raise their child. Placing blame on musicians who are creating art and doing their job, at the end of the day, makes no sense. It’s not an artist’s responsibility to make their work palatable for children, and in all reality, they shouldn’t have to.

Daria Yazmiene is a freelance writer, social media manager, and advocate for BIPOC communities. She is a proud graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.



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