It seems as though every single music blog that focuses on electronic music is writing articles on the fact that a recent Kenny Chesney concert was a certifiable shit show. And it is a common practice to point out when a community has made a considerable lapse in judgement. As the numbers show, it was in fact a horrific event as far as criminal activity, hospitalizations, and outright disregard for the environment.
One report cited 57 ambulance calls, 37 hospitalizations, 48 tons of garbage, and at least 36 people cited for underage drinking (one of whom was as young as 15 years old). But we’ve deciding finger pointing is not the most productive response to this event. The conversation we need now involves something about glass houses and throwing rocks.
Yes it is true that there is a media bias when it comes to reporting on events and how well they fair. Oftentimes we, the ravers, are looked at in a bad light and are entirely misunderstood. We have a unsettling number of young people who have passed away, and we have some of the most insanely high numbers of people attending festivals. It’s only natural, since we are the “hot genre” of the time, that the focus will be on us. So we can take this opportunity to focus on the things that we need to fix, rather than justifying our behavior because of the actions of others.
So how do we take this incident at a Kenny Chesney concert and use it to make some actual change? For all the people out there who are sharing the story saying “look at them! look at them!”, you probably have a pretty good bead on what should be socially acceptable. In fact, a lot of ravers have made some pretty awesome moves in recent years. Recently, a bunch of people attending a Bassnectar show started picking up the garbage left behind by others. That is what we want to be touting: Be the change.
If you see some people behaving recklessly, intervene if you can, or get security to help. Nobody wants to see a drunk 15-year-old at a concert (except those that just don’t give a fuck), so let’s use the Kenny Chesney event in a positive way. You can inform and share information to make the experience a safer and more enjoyable one for all. BE THE CHANGE!
The point is, don’t attack the country music community for the problems. Use this opportunity to say “SELF! Let’s not be that guy or gal!” We need to focus on our own issues, we need to be cleaner festival attendees, we need to be safer ravers, and we need to legitimize our industry first. After that we can focus on sharing our successes with others in the hopes that they can be the change they need for their own community.