Bringing Kids to ACL Can Make Some Sticky-Icky Situations

Seeing all the ACL kids running around in the Zilker Park grass, playing football with pierced and tatted dads, or showing off their dancing skills with mom, was a bit of a surprise. As a parent who has kind of a rad job, I suppose I have never really considered taking my child to work with me at a concert. As silly as it sounds, being at a show like ACL is also like being at my office; I am there to work. I just get to do so in the coolest setting ever.

But it makes sense that people who aren't working while at ACL would want to bring along their little ones. The festival is pretty family-friendly, and it's a great way to expose kids to something other than Kidz Bop or sugary pop music. Perhaps these folks are prepping their kids for a lifetime of decent musical taste. And as far as festivals go, this has definitely been one of the tamer ones I've been to. There's been nary a topless chick as far as the eye can see. Everyone has been pretty well-behaved, hanging out and enjoying the music while downing a few beers in the sun.

So, on the surface, bringing your kids along to play in the sunshine at a music festival is a really decent idea. The tykes get a bit of musical exposure, the parents aren't stuck in the house loathing life, and the world is good. Plus all these kids look really cute in their big noise-canceling headphones and band T-shirts. Big, big bonus for all the cute kid fashion out there. I've seen plenty of pink and green hair, and some really rad kid-mohawks. High fives for that.

But something struck a nerve with me yesterday. Buried deep inside the crowd, someone brought an infant into the throngs of people watching Kendrick Lamar. And I mean deep in the throngs of people. Like, heavy weed smoke in the air, joints as far as the eye could see, and right in the damn middle? A baby.

I know, I know. Don't judge, right? But I am judging right now because that's insane to me, as a parent and a concertgoer. I dig the idea of exposing kids to music at a young age. It's great for character and brain development. But you know what's not great for brain development? Reefer madness.

Kush smoke, even secondhand, is not for tiny little babies, folks. Keep your kids out of the middle of a damn Kendrick Lamar concert, for their safety and for the freedom of the folks around you. They shouldn't have to check themselves at an open-air concert because you have a little baby right where they're hanging out. It's asinine.

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I am hardly some anti-marijuana activist. I support the legalization movement, both for medical and recreational use. But I'm anti-marijuana when it comes to your two-month-old baby. If your kid is too little to walk through the crowd of people, and you're pushing a stroller past clouds of smoke, they are too young to be there.

Your interest in Kendrick can be satiated from just a few hundred feet back, and you'd save your kid the contact high, which is maybe something you should be concerned about when they've only recently left the womb. Just saying.

So by all means, bring your kids. Bring your infants, even, if that's something you want to torture yourself with. Seems like more trouble than it's worth, cause they puke and stuff, but whatever. Your life, your kid.

But it's also my life, and my area. And I don't want to worry about whether the joint that's being passed around is going to burn your kid, or get them stoned. So if you want to bring your kid, be respectful and please, don't kill my vibe.


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