Concerts shouldn’t be exclusive to those who have the time and freedom to travel. But they are. People with children, especially young children, cannot afford to bring them to big concert halls. They need a creche or a quick escape if the children act up.
The mother of the youngest member of our audience said, “This (afternoon concert) is a good time for us. Our 6-month baby takes a nap then. This location (Funen Park, Amsterdam) is a mere 25 minute drive for us. If he cries, we can get up and take him outside quickly. Sorry, he missed the last 10 minutes of your concert.”
Several years ago, in London, I had proposed that a creche or babysitting facility be offered so that single parents could afford to come to concerts. The application for a local council grant never went through because I was moving to the Netherlands.
As a house concert producer, I often get asked if parents could bring their children. My reaction is often tainted by my concern for the other paying listeners. Would they mind? Suppose all guests are parents with children. They would understand. You want your children to grow up acquainted with classical music — live classical music. You want to share your cultural upbringing with your kids. How else will they discover the joy of live classical music?
Indeed, house concerts could be a solution.
The young mother was elated that she and her husband could bring their son to our house concert at Funen Concerts Art Productions in Amsterdam. “I want to go to all your concerts. Tell me when and where they are. Utrecht is not far from us. How can I find out about house concerts?”