we try to only play all ages shows. on friday in madison, wisconsin, things got fucked up and we found out fifteen minutes before the show that the show was going to be 21+. normally, we would have made a big deal about things, argued with the space, played outside, or done any number of things to make sure that people could see us play regardless of how old they are. but, this show was a benefit for a good cause, a free wholistic healthcare clinic, and we didn’t want to do anything that would detract from the good work that the people who organized the show were doing. the money raised from the show will go toward community outreach initiatives to assess the services that the community wants from the clinic and to help pay for the filing to get nonprofit status for the organization.

we’re so used to all ages shows being the norm that we didn’t think to check to make sure that the show was all ages. ryan’s sister, who plays in the awesome band gal & lad and who helped set up the show for us is used to playing shows in an indie rock scene where people who go to shows tend to be older and age restrictions aren’t really an issue. so, there was a lot of confusion and i know that some people got turned away which is really, really unfortunate. we talked with the people doing the benefit and hopefully in the future when they do shows they’ll be more conscious of things like this.

we snuck in as many people as we could by having them carry in equipment before the show, which worked really well. i tried to sneak some people in through the back, but got caught by an employee. i argued with the guy working the door, and he was polite, but unyielding. i understand that the state’s liquor laws make it difficult for spaces that serve alcohol to allow underage people into shows, but i was ready to take personal responsibility for making sure that the people i had snuck in wouldn’t try to purchase alcohol and that due to the nature of the show it wasn’t likely that liquour control agents would be milling around waiting to catch underage showgoers and stick the bar with a fine. sometimes you have to be flexible and risk getting into trouble to do the right thing and it’s sad that the doorman and the establishment wouldn’t recognize this.

we’re really sorry that people got turned away and the next time we come to madison, we’ll be sure to play a show that is all ages. sorry.



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