Grace Stratton – A young persons perspective on youth, music and events


We need to make efforts to change the way young people perceive alcohol. The first step to seeing this happen is to provide alternatives to occurrences like parties – alternatives like going to see live music. 
In doing research I understand that many event organisers wash their hands of all ages events (which are open to anyone, including youth) in order to protect themselves legally, but my response to that is: to allow our drinking culture to colour how we go about creating safe spaces for youth, that just gives our drinking culture more power and if we amp up the all-ages gig scene we’ll create a gradual cultural shift away from drinking.
I went to my first gig at age 14, I first listened to 95bfm at 17, and when I was going through surgeries and hospital stays, it was music that pulled me away from darkness. 
Music holds great power to change the way we approach situations and look at the world, and in a world where peer pressure and pop culture holds the monopoly we owe it to our young people to give them greater access to the live music scene and to all ages events in general. 
With all ages gigs and events we’re not just developing an industry – we’re also investing in the lives of the next generation – and there is no work that is more important than that. 
Live music is an all-encompassing experience. It’s not just about the artists on stage and their music; it’s also about the friends you go with, the sights, and the whole experience. 
Live music detaches you from the realities of life – and as I have got older I have realised how valuable and beautiful an experience like that is. It is these experiences that we need to continue to create. 

I plan to be one of those creators. I want to be a bridge between youth, music and events – but I am only 18, I still have some exams to sit – so I am asking you, please take up my plea, organise youth events, they’re needed, they’re wanted and one day I promise to get my hands dirty and be right in there with you.


Grace is a high school student, live music enthusiast and blogger. Grace regularly blogs at www.gracegeorgia.co.nz, check it out!  Also, check out Grace’s Guest Post about Zeal’s epic Paint Party

The pluses of running alcohol-free events


WHY WOULD YOU EVEN WANT TO HAVE ALCOHOL AT YOUR EVENT WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY POSITIVES TO BEING ALCOHOL FREE?

Here are eight good reasons for making your event alcohol free.

  • Alcohol-free events are easier to organise; you don’t need to apply for and get special licences to handle and/or sell alcohol.
  • You don’t have the hassle of trying to work out who is over 18 years of age and can legally purchase alcohol and who isn’t.
  • Alcohol-free events are easier to manage and control. There’s less chance of things going wrong (getting out of hand and having to deal with drunk, unpredictable people). Plus alcohol-free events are easier to clean up after!
  • There’s a positive buzz to organising an alcohol-free event because you know that you are doing something good for your community – helping create a great atmosphere for everyone without the burden of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Alcohol-free is healthier on so many levels: preventing damage to developing brains, reducing the level of violence, reducing the risk of attendees drinking and driving before and after the event.
  • Everyone can focus on the fun event rather than on how much alcohol they should be drinking and how to dodge the messy drunks.
  • The pressure is removed for those who don’t want to drink.
  • There are no unpleasant public scenes of drunkenness to deal with.

When you organise an awesome alcohol-free event, you can be certain everyone will remember the fun they had for days to come – and the positive vibe can last a long time.