Concerts: A Family Activity?

By Angèle Alain

Recently, One Direction made a tour stop in Ottawa. It was the second of two shows at the Canadian Tire Centre. This was quite an event for many reasons, as fans will understand!

 One Direction in Ottawa

One Direction in Ottawa

One Direction doesn’t always come to Ottawa. Last year, we had to go to the Rogers Centre in Toronto to see them live. They even played two shows here, which is rare in itself. They are only playing stadiums now, so Ottawa got a treat. A stadium show is more impressive, but there are never any good seats. An arena feels intimate by comparison.  AND, this might be One Direction’s last tour! We hope not, but they are taking a break next year and who knows what will happen after that.

As I was dancing around with my eleven year old, I thought of all the concerts we’ve been to together over the years. It’s a great family activity. We’ve seen 1D, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran just this summer. Last year, it was Katy Perry and One Direction. The year before that, it was Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. Spoiled, you say? The way I see it, music is an interest I share with my daughter and therefore, I set concerts as a priority, like other parents might for sports or theatre.

Concert tickets can be expensive and hard to get, but there are a few tricks for saving money and making it easier  

  • If you have an American Express card, you have access to presales on Capital Tickets.
  • Always buy tickets off Capital Tickets. You are paying the real price, not inflated middle-man prices. Even on Stub Hub, which is legitimate, the tickets are more expensive.
  • Tickets usually go on sale before Christmas, which helps you or Santa figure out gifts for your children.
  • Only one parent needs to go with the kids, and consider only bringing the one who is the real fan. You can do something special with the whole family another time.
  • Look for tickets on Capital Tickets on the day of the concert. It is surprising what you can get, as tickets are often released late. 
  • Any ticket is a good ticket. Kids don’t care if you’re on the floor or in the nose bleeds. In fact, some of the best, less expensive tickets for kids are in row A in the 300 level. That way, no one can stand in front of them. We saw Taylor Swift that way and we were able to take in the whole production, with a great view.    

Of course, concerts are loud and can be intimidating. My daughter didn’t want to go until she was 8 years old. We started with a quiet concert in a small venue; I brought her to see Coeur de Pirate at the Canadian Museum of History concert hall. She wore headphones and fell asleep before the end, but it was worth it. There’s nothing like the experience of live music.  

Now that she’s a tween, she’s a seasoned concert goer. She still wears her pink headphones to protect her ears, and she’s willing to go see artists I like with me. When she was seven, I felt I had five years left of her wanting to spend time with me. As this time is expiring shortly, I realize music is one of the many activities we enjoy together. I hope it’s something that will keep her coming for more. In fact, there’s something to be said about listening to music on the radio, or watching a video of a band you’ve seen live. It’s a bonding experience; an event to be remembered and cherished. I’m sure my eleven year old will never forget the “hello!” she got from Katy Perry and Harry Styles  --yes, it does happen, especially to children. I’m also sure that little old boy in front of us we saw dancing out a storm to What Makes You Beautiful won’t forget either. Concerts, big or small, are very much a family activity.