May 2003
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Wow! Fredericton Sure Has a Great Boozic Scene!
By A. W., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

My heart pounds madly as I hand the bouncer my money. There are a few seconds of uncertainty, while my fate waits to be determined. The bouncer gives me my change, eyeing me suspiciously, stamps my hand, and I am home free!

Sneaking into bars is not something I pride myself on doing. But for the past three years, it has been a necessary contrivance in my little world. Ever since I discovered the lively, talented music scene flourishing in Fredericton, I've had to hone my deviousness skills. I know several ways to get into an adult-only show, and I use them regularly. But I DON'T LIKE IT.

I don't like the fact that it is so hard for a young person in Fredericton to catch a show. I myself am a musician, and I crave live music; I need live music to function. When one of my favorite bands came through town last year, I was enraged when I found out that it was not all ages. I still got in, thanks to my sly maneuvering, but I was still fuming that I had to resort to such treachery.

When I go to these shows, I make it a point not to drink. Otherwise I would be a hypocrite. Because the only reason why live music is being denied to young people like myself is that there will be alcohol served at the show. Now I know that music goes well with booze. And I know the feeling of being intoxicated with both the ecstasy brought by the music and some spirits. But my stance remains the same: Music should not be used to sell booze. Not when half the population is denied access to both.

This problem is especially evident during the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, when ninety percent of the shows are adults-only. It's a festival, held on the streets of Fredericton, supposedly for the love of the music, and it's main source of income seems to be from the sale of liquor. So they keep the youth out. But I couldn't help but notice that at the opening concert, one of the only all-ages night shows, the first people to get up and dance, to groove and to rock out, were the SOBRE youth. Perhaps everyone else was feeling a little too tipsy to dance. Maybe not. But the fact remains, music and liquor are not interchangeable. Live music is the only legal high available to youth. Don't deny us that gratification.


Sarah King, Bay Roberts, NL
Thank you, A.W. for introducing us to the music scene in Fredericton. I've been accepted at UNB Fredericton for this fall, and I was really anticipating life in a "big" city (compared to my hometown, Fredericton is a veritable metropolis), including live music. Now I may have to invest in a fake ID ...... or maybe you'll be able to teach me some of your tricks)


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