A free, kid-friendly, rock show is happening in the Bowring Park Amphitheatre at 6:00pm on Thursday August 31st [This event has been re-scheduled for September 7th, same time, same bands]. The line up includes an acoustic set by Andrew Waterman (of Waterman & Milley, Monsterbator, Swellheads), MC Snax, Joe Grizzly, and Bad Milk.
What makes these amphitheatre shows special is that while audiences are encouraged to bring their kids, the performers aren’t playing music written for kids.
Organizer Shaun McCabe, who drums for Joe Grizzly and runs the DIY label Brokest Records, explained that the shows were conceived as an alternative to the late-night-bar-show culture of the St. John’s music scene. Having the majority of shows start around 10:00 or 11:00pm in 19+ venues makes it hard for parents (some of them musicians themselves) to be part of the music scene.
“Some parents might be friends with people who play music but they have to get a sitter for the kids if they want to go out for the night,” McCabe said. “So I’m really glad that at this event you can just show up with whoever you want, bring your kids and they’ll have a good time too.”
The amphitheatre shows are making space for a more intergenerational scene, one that includes parents and their young kids, as well as teenagers (who also miss out on a lot of live music because so much of it is played in bars). Plus they’re making use of a great, publicly owned venue.
“These kind of shows should be encouraged, especially in the summer, we’ve got this big amphitheatre in Bowring Park and I don’t see it getting used,” McCabe said, “It’s perfect, there’s lots of seating, it’s free and anyone can come.”
McCabe described the Monsterbator show that happened earlier this month as, “…a fun, kid-friendly evening of rock n’ roll in the park” that wrapped up without a single noise complaint.
“I hope people come out to this show so these events happen more often, whether I’m involved or not,” McCabe said. “I’m glad to be putting this one off and playing in it, but I’d love to see more of these shows happening every summer.”
This evening is shaping up to be one of the last warm ones of the summer, what better way to spend it than rocking out in the park.