The Kids Know How to Rock—Families and Concerts

Some moms cringe at the thought of allowing their teens to attend a concert with friends, but when Denise Ashurst‘s daughter asked to go see Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber live at the Rosemont Theatre, the Winnetka mom had no qualms at all.

“I knew she would be fine, since she’s probably been to at least 100 concerts in her life with us,” Ashurst says. “She wasn’t nervous, she knew how to conduct herself, and how to get in and out safely in a crowd.”

Summer concert-going is big for the Ashursts, whose 2010 summer concert plans include Lollapalooza in Grant Park and the Ravinia Festival. As donors to Ravinia, they have early access to discounted Pavilion seats, and they take full advantage.

“As soon as I get the mailing, I fill out my request and we always end up with great seats,” Ashurst says.

This summer, she, her husband, her 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son will attend at least 12 concerts at Ravinia. It’s a great way, Ashurst says, to not only have quality family time but to also teach kids what concert going is all about. She says it introduces them in a safe, friendly way to help prepare them for solo ventures later on.

“A lot of people prohibit their kids from attending concerts, and then the kids naturally end up sneaking and doing it anyway,” Ashurst says. “By taking our kids to concerts regularly we all get a chance to see a wide variety of music, but it’s also at the right venue, and appropriate hours, not 11 at night.”

Lisa Kolkey, a Winnetka mom, says that before having her children—now 22 and 18—she and her husband shared an appreciation for music that carried over into parenthood.

“When our now 18-year-old son started showing interest in going to see live music, probably around 8 or 9, we knew we wanted him to have the same love we had for live music,” says Kolkey. “So, we started taking him to shows he had an interest in, which then turned us on to new bands we had never heard of.”

Sharon Graboys from Glencoe describes going to concerts with her three boys—ages 9, 14 and 17—as “bliss.”

“I love that no matter how old they get, my boys remain willing to share the experience of live music with us,” she says. “A good concert, it would appear, is always ‘cool.’”

Need some tips on how to really rock with your kids? Check out Val Haller’s tips on concert-going with kids.