JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Much ado about little voices in the forest

Date

Ian Warden

Gang-gang

Thousands of Canberrans turned out for the Voices in the Forrest concert program at the National Arboretum.

Thousands of Canberrans turned out for the Voices in the Forrest concert program at the National Arboretum. Photo: Lannon Harley

With the memories, good and bad and average, of the Voices In The Forest extravaganza still fresh, we feel a nice dilemma brewing for the organisers of next year's concert.

Behaviour of concert-goers on the night and now the behaviour of those writing letters to the editor and making contact with this columnist reveals a chasm between those who want it to be a child-friendly event (with little ones free to gambol and to make merry, playing noises) and those who want it to be child-hostile as if one is in one's snob's seat at the opera, with no audience distractions from what the diva is doing on stage.

What will 2013's Voices authorities ordain?

As reported elsewhere, some of the most enthusiastic applause of the night came from massed burghers applauding, righteously, the MC's request that children no longer be allowed to play on the inviting grass paddock in front of the stage.

This columnist thought that request and the burgher applause that greeted it contrary to the spirit of the evening.

A Weston reader who was there with her playful children writes in anger about the attitude of ''the stuffy old farts who clapped and cheered'' when the MC intervened.

''We'd been having a lovely time until then … I think the good citizens of Canberra should decide whether they want record community participation in public events, including children, or whether they want to pretend they're so sophisticated that they could be at the opera house.'' She was with two other families of young children who shared her indignation.

Tremble, stuffy old farts, for even as I write, more correspondence of this indignant ilk is rolling in and will adorn coming columns.

 

33 comments

  • Surely It won't hurt children to sit still and listen to music for once, I mean really, why would you bring children to an event like this if it wasn't to hear the music....Hmmm?

    Commenter
    Mungoman
    Location
    Southern Tablelands
    Date and time
    December 04, 2012, 12:49PM
    • Canberra is full of grumpy old f###ts. Anything that the community at large may enjoy, be it motor sport, festivals etc they always opposed. Come to some nebulous event, such as opera, art etc they want government to pour millions into subsidising the event so they do not have to pay from their own pocket. It has ever been thus is this town.

      Commenter
      Irene
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 12:56PM
      • Irene grumpy, complaining and sneering at Canberrans, as usual.

        Commenter
        Canberran
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 2:13PM
      • Could not agree more!

        Commenter
        pyrogest
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 10:41PM
    • I doubt that anyone wants this event to be hostile to children, but the majority most likely came to the event to listen to the music on offer, not raucous children.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 1:04PM
      • Hear, Hear! That is to say the music that is the sound of children playing. Or did I get the name of the event wrong (Voices, with an "s", not just the sounds and interest of one particular group). If it is a problem for some of the listeners or performers, it may be possible to set aside quiet areas and play areas...

        Commenter
        jack
        Location
        out west
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 1:12PM
        • I blame the Carbon Tax, it has made kids get out side and disrupt events instead of playing with computers at home and acquiring obesity.

          Commenter
          Jamoski
          Location
          Double Bay
          Date and time
          December 04, 2012, 3:42PM
      • There is a balance between the two, when children's playing interfers with other being able to listen then the parents should take care of their children.

        Commenter
        KaH
        Location
        Cbr
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 1:12PM
        • So by "family-friendly event" you actually mean a gathering of kids at play being watched by adults with some background entertainment thrown in? Whatever happened to event/location-appropriate behaviour? Playground? Let the kids shout, scream & go nuts - it's their fun place. Restaurant? Sit at the table, mind your manners & eat your food - it's a treat. Concert? Teach your kids to behave, be attentive & give the entertainers the respect they deserve. I no longer attend any "family-friendly" events as my experience is always ruined by the children of adults who believe their children have the right to run wild at the expense of everyone else's enjoyment of the event.

          Commenter
          Mupersan
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          December 04, 2012, 1:12PM
          • I wholeheartedly agree. Please parents teach your children appropriate behaviour.

            Commenter
            indiranda
            Date and time
            December 04, 2012, 3:47PM

        More comments

        Comments are now closed

        Related Coverage

        Featured advertisers

        Special offers

        Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo