trip to all day concert?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
trip to all day concert?
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:15am
My 17 year old honour student son wants to drive with his best friend about 4 hours to Long Island to an all-day rock concert starring Beck and RadioHead. He's been driving for about a month. His friend has been driving a little longer. My son is a bright and trustworthy guy and he says that the concert people check for drugs and alcohol at the entrances of these type of events. I'm not worried about his behavior so much as the whole crowd scene. Also I'm worried about him driving all the way to Long Island, negotiating a ferry ride and generally finding his way. He has no sense of direction at all! If anyone has had experience with their teenagers and trips and concerts, I'd appreciate the information. Thanks


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:25am
My first long drive was from Nashville, Tennessee to Rockledge, Florida - and I was only 14 (different times - had a hardship license). It was family vacation time, my dad was sick as a dog, my mom couldn't drive worth crap (the *only* other time he let her drive the car, she fell asleep at the wheel and took the car, the three kids and the u-haul trailer with *all* our belongings on an . . . interesting . . . trip across the Nevada desert at 80 miles an hour - she never touched the wheel of any car he was in after that). I'd had my license for about two months. He pointed me south and said "wake me up when we get to Valdosta" - when I got there, he pointed me on the right road and told me to wake him up when we got to the Bee Line parkway (I knew where it was, but he didn't know that).

I drove a 9 passenger van with five people on board 750 miles at night with no problem at all. The excitement of being trusted to do this kept me alert and aware of what was going on around me.

I'd me more concerned with the kid in the car with him - how likely is he to be a distraction, for instance, than I would with the road trip solo.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:31am
My son is only turning 15 so I haven't been through anything like this, however, he sounds like a good kid. Responsible and all of that. Just talk to him about being careful and let him go is my advice. I think that is what I would do. I know when I turned 17 I was off and running - I don't think my parents ever told me I could or couldn't go places. I lived right outside of NYC and I remember plenty of car trips into the city.
Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:40am
I brought my daughter and her friend to a Good Charlotte & NewFoundGlory concert in NJ at the ArtsCenter. Both are 14 yo and both me and the friends mother sat about 6 feet away from them the entire concert (which I called parents-row - many parents were nearby to us).

We were checked at the gate which I thought was good, but I didn't think it was thorough and a far cry from airport security to say the least.

Now, nearby where we were sitting was another group of girls. In a tampax box she had stuffed about a bunch of those little bottles of alcohol and some small thin cans of beer. And some guy was walking around with a t-shirt that said "school killings are cool or funny" or something completely awful.

All that said, my daughter and her friend were, at least to my eyes, oblivious to both (thank God!), but the other mother and I were appalled (and yet happy that the girls had blinders on and just had a good time).

We didn't smell anything 'suspicious aromas' in the air either where we were sitting or while walking to the snack booth or bathrooms. Which is much different from when when I used to go to concerts when I was a teen.

We also brought them to a concert at the same place to see NSync when she was 12 and I have also brought her to Garth Brooks and Chicago concerts when she was younger (8 & 9).

Anyway, she has now asked if she can go to this other concert tour which is day long.

One is playing at Asbury Park and the other at Randalls Island in NYC. I believe these are both outdoor venues, multiple artists.

The concert starts at noon and goes until who knows when.

The answer based on my experiences to this request though is NO - mainly because I won't go to a day long concert and she isn't going alone with her friends.

For me, it depends on the venue, the band, the friends, supervision and in this latest case, length of time.

Concerts can be lots of fun, good entertainment.

But make no mistake that there are wackos out there and concerts seem to be a good place to find lots of them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 9:25am
If he's only been driving a month and has no sense of direction, I must admit I would be leery about letting him go.

My oldest dd got her license just after her 17th birthday. She wasn't allowed to make long road trips (over 1 hour) away until she'd gotten another year's experience under her belt and turned 18 though. I drove her and her friends to an all-day rock concert several times until then.....dropped them off, drove home, and came back and picked them up. She didn't object, because even though the promoters CHECK for drugs and alcohol, that doesn't mean stuff doesn't get through! Trust me, after one of these events is over, the attendees swarm out the gates after in a really hyped-up mood, and the parking lot is bumper to bumper jam-packed full of half-drunk or half-stoned drivers trying to get out to go home. Last time I drove dd to one, we sat in the parking lot in a line of other cars also leaving the place, for nearly an hour before even reaching the exit gate.

Dd's first long road trip was shortly before she turned 18; she wanted to attend a summer weekend science and math program at Illinois State (about a 3 hour drive from our home), so I went with but allowed her to do all the driving there and back. After she turned 18, she made her first long road trip by herself, to Southern Indiana to pick up her boyfriend from his college and bring him home for summer break. It was a 6 hour drive there and back, and she called me both when she arrived there, and again when she and the bf were leaving to come home. She's 19 now, and in college herself. Her bf is leaving today to pick her up in Maine, and bring her home for summer break. It's a 1200 mile drive, and they will be splitting the driving on the way back. I plan to worry every mile of the way.....she's a MUCH better driver than he is, LOL.

My 17 dd is still working on the 25 hours of parentally supervised driving she needs to get her license. I don't think she will get her license till she's 18, LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 1:14pm
You don't mention where the trip orginates from, but if he will be driving on any highways in NJ, I would veto the trip or offer to drive yourself. NJ drivers (of which I am one so I know whereof I speak) are horrible, the road signs are even worse (can you believe there was one for Rt. 80 South? Duh. Rt. 80 goes east-west), and an experienced driver just does not have the concentration or relexes to handle it. Even I'm scared driving on the NJ Turnpike because of all the idiots on the road and I've been driving for almost 30 years. You cannot be distracted for even a second or you'll be dead or seriously injured. And that is if you're not driving DUI.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 3:36pm
I would have a few concerns too since he is such an inexperienced driver. Has he driven much on the turnpike/65mph or in heavy traffic? Is the other kid calm and dependable, would he make a good co-pilot, or is he more likely to be a distraction? At what time would they be driving home? After a 4 hr drive to the concert and 6-8 hours or whatever at the show (and out in the sun?), that's a long day to get back in the car for another 4 hr drive--plus the time to exit the parking.

The scene at the concert is probably okay for an older teen like him. While people get "substances" past the gate, there is some security inside if someone starts acting crazy.

I probably would veto him driving at this time because of the lack of experience. Is it possible for them to go on public transportation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 3:42pm
My ds is almost 16 and will get his liscence in a couple weeks. Many of his friends are just starting to get theirs. Our general rule (and fortunately that of most of his friends' parents) are that the kids can't transport each other til they've had their liscence for 4-6 months. And we live in a tiny mid-western community! Heck, even I wouldn't want to drive on LI and I'm almost 44!

As for attending the concert - I've let my ds go to Christian concerts with the youth group in the nearby mid-sized (100,000+ pop) city before but there were adult chaperones. Many of the concerts that come there seem to draw a pretty trasy crowd so don't think I'd let ds go to them. I've not heard of Beck and Radiohead so I don't know what type of crowd they'd draw. OTH if he wanted to go to one of the summer concerts in the park in the nearby small village with some buddies that wouldn't be a problem.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 7:52pm
For myself, I would be more worried about the trip back. Does he have somewhere to stay or does he mean to come straight back??

Is there some other transport they could take? Taking a bus and staying in a camp ground or something would be better I think. Then bus home the next day.

He should go to the concert but there are just too many things that can go wrong on a long drive like that for someone so inexperienced.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 9:51am
To everyone who's replied so far to my question about my son and driving to a concert, thank you so much for the thoughtful responses. You've helped me to focus more on the driving hazards for someone so inexperienced. I'm thinking of telling him that he can go to concerts at a nearby venue this summer instead of driving so far. This message board had been a great resource, thanks again everybody!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:41am
NJ passed a new law recently addressing this very problem. When I was a kid and someone got their license at 17, all the kids used to pile into a car and be FREE!! A lot of times this meant driving to NY, where the drinking age was still 18. Well, NY changed their drinking age but kids were still killing each other just by virtue of being an inexperienced driver. So now kids get a provisional license where they can only have one other non-family member in the car with them, and for 6 months, they have to have a parent or guardian or a licensed driver in the car. Anyway, the law goes something like that, I'm not really sure of the exact details but it does limit having a bunch of kids in the car with a new driver.