The very first concert I remember going to was Michael Jackson’s Victory tour. (My mother swears she took me to see Kenny Loggins, but I have no memory of this so it clearly does not count.) It was a packed stadium in Jacksonville, Florida and a very overwhelming experience. I loved it! The concert was held during a hot and sweltering July and the next day I went to summer camp, business as usual.
Concerts and shows happen on week days. It makes economical sense, and it moves the tour along. Lately, however, there has been a growing interest by parents in trying to make adjustments to concert schedules so that they don’t interfere with school schedules. Failing to do that, they are imploring the schools to make schedule changes.
Earlier this month several parents at Raheen Gaelscoil, an Irish primary school, attempted to change the date of one of the biggest events of the class. The reason: Thirty students in that class had purchased tickets to a One Direction concert that just so happened to fall on the same date as the First Communion ceremony for the class.
The Irish Independent newspaper shares, “A meeting in the school on [October 9] became extremely heated when the parents involved insisted that the date be changed while other parents became incensed at what one described as the “disrespect shown to the blessed sacrament.”
The school officials decided to poll the parents and sent home a ballet asking them to vote on moving Holy Communion to another date or keeping it as is.
The school released a statement where it was revealed, “The result of that ballot has been overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the original date. Staff, parents and children of Gaelscoil an Ráithín look forward to preparing for this very special celebration next May.” Well, I can think of a few children who may not be looking forward…
It’s no surprise the parents in Ireland tried to move an event to accommodate a pop concert. Just last April students in Norway successfully had their exams postponed so local kids could enjoy a Justin Bieber concert. Kristin Halvorsen, the education minister of Norway, was incredibly sympathetic to students who wanted to delay midterms until after the concert. She told AP news, “The local schools have the responsibility to schedule the local midterms, and if they think there is any reason to change the dates, they have authority to do so … We’ve all been 14-years-old and know that interests can be intense.” I’m betting Ms. Halvorsen is one of the most popular people in Norway right now.
Most of us went to our first concerts on a “school night.” Sarah Bernard says, “I remember seeing Madonna, my first concert at Radio City. I knew it was an exception and is such a special memory.” Cindy Dudas from Whatever Works also has a favorite concert memory. “I was allowed to go to a Motley Crüe concert on a Wednesday night, sleep at my friend’s house afterwards and then go to school late the next day. It was sooo abnormal for my parents to allow something like that, so it made it very special for me. They knew I had been working hard in school and thought I deserved a break from the norm. It really made me feel like they were on my team.”
Perhaps it’s that nostalgia that has allowed so many parents to shrug when it comes to weekday concerts. Colleen Kennedy from Soufflé Bombay shares, “If the concert is someone one of my kids really wanted to see, it doesn’t matter to me what night it is on. After all they are only going to go once or twice a year to a show – so if they are a good kid, school grades are good, etc. I’m all in – they can even sleep in the next day.” Dwan Perrin lets her daughter attend concerts or events on school nights. She says it all depends on their grades and if their homework is done.
Lisa Lightner and Hillary Chybinski consider themselves to be more “old school” when it comes to events on school nights. Lisa feels like every effort should be made for concerts and these types of events to be held on weekends or on school breaks. She wonders if it’s time to tighten the reins on education in this country. She stresses, “But the bigger picture is that we must, as a society, consistently send the message to our kids that education is a very high priority.” Hillary says weekday events just aren’t practical for her family, “Most of these things add at least an hour round-trip commute for us. Add in the time of the event itself, take traffic into account, and you are talking about out after 11pm and that’s not good for anyone.”
I look forward to being able to take my son to concerts once he expresses interest in such things. If the big show ends up being on a school night I’m sure I will do as many parents do, weigh all of the variables and make the best decision for that event as I possibly can. As parents we are the gate keepers to the world where many memories are created. It feels like a privilege to be able to help create unique memories. Going to concerts on a school night? Staying up late to watch a meteor shower? Waking up early to watch a sunrise? These are some of the best moments of childhood.
Where do you fall on the concert conundrum? Are school night concerts okay with you, and if they are do you allow your kids to sleep in or skip school the following day?
Image Credits: istock, PR Photos
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