All ages punk shows in the city
My 16 year old daughter has a friend of a friend who goes to a lot of all-ages punk shows in the city. I'm just starting to hear about this scene but am wondering what other parents know about it, along any dimension you'd like to share. I'm not averse to kids going to shows per se- I was in a band for a number of years. Wondering about locations, whether things happen at the shows, safety, drugs, etc. You know- the usual things. Thanks!
May 29, 2022
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Please give me dates times and locations! I would love to get my daughter and her friends hooked into some kind of music scene. It seems like a really good alternative to hanging out parks drinking which seems like the post Covid teen world.
When I was a teen; I was super into seeing live shows at tiny all ages clubs. To say it saved my life would be an over statement but it provided me with an organizing principle and sense of belonging for my in general mediocre life (ok student, ok athelete, not into clubs or student government) Back them, because the shows were all ages and the organizers and venues were committed to keeping them open, there was not a lot of drinking or drug use. I imagine it is similar now for the same reasons.
I know that Gilman Street in Berkeley has a long history of all ages Punk shows and is a great place. Drugs are highly discouraged and there are older mentors there and such. I personally would be more comfortable having her do this close to home where you can transport and monitor better. As we all know teens don’t always tell the truth and though they insist on independence needs those boundaries. I don’t know about the current scene in SF though. Good luck!
I know there's a place called "Toxic Beach" that is really popular- it's outdoor in the waterfront in the DogPatch and seems mostly harmless. I'm curious what responses you'll get as I'm familiar with 924 Gilman and not much else.
My 15 yr old has a friend her age who goes to punk shows in sf and east bay. Yesterday he showed me a video from one of the sf ones + I was surprised at the bright lights, but he said a lot of the shows are in restaurants and they keep the lights bright so no one gets hurt. Not what I remember from punk shows, but I think I'd be more wary of shows at people's houses than in actual venues, where laws tend to be followed more often (?). I don't know about the drugs in that scene.
I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how stoked they were to be doing all ages punk shows, and how we wished we'd had more when we were tiny. IMO punks tend to look out for each other, enjoy having younger folks around, and treat them with care and kindness. The vibe also depends on what venues you are talking about, Gilman is great, i've heard good things about the new farm. If you have concerns, maybe stick to earlier/daytime shows in better known venues, as opposed to warehouse shows or more diy/backyard shows as they may be a little more free for all. Regardless of orientation of your kid, i also think QT bands and shows are the most open and tender. Some of the harder core shows or all guy straight bands can be more intense. I hope she has fun!
Hello -- as someone who frequented all-ages punk shows in the Bay Area and a parent who has teenagers who also attend, I fully support your kid going! Generally, all-ages shows are good about restricting access to alcohol or not permitting it altogether. A lot depends on the venue and the crowd your kid goes with. I spent countless weekends at Gilman, Epicenter in SF, Bottom of the Hill -- seeing bands, trading zines, and making lifelong friends. For my own kids, when they wanted to go to shows with friends -- we would initially drop them off and pick them up. Now they go on their own, with set expectations on when to come home and that, if needed, we will always pick them up. Be sure to check out "The List" -- upcoming shows/concerts with info if all ages, etc. Used to be handed out on paper at the end of most Gilman shows, now someone has made an easy to access web version. http://www.foopee.com/punk/the-list/
Highly recommend Gilman if your kid is interested. Wish I knew more about the SF venues, but I’ve only attended a handful as an adult whereas I went to Gilman frequently as a teenager. I grew up in the East Bay and have many good memories of seeing bands and meeting people from other schools there. The ethos of punk is to look out for one another, which makes those places safer than they look. The venues are highly motivated to keep drugs and alcohol away because if people are drinking or smoking weed at or outside of the show permits could get taken away. We would usually do those activities somewhere nearby, so I’d suggest maybe having a conversation about that and what your expectations are. I think teens in the younger generation may be less inclined to drink then we were (this is pure anecdote). Hope she has fun!