Brigit Grant parked her prejudices to take her daughter to an outdoor concert – and loved it
I will never forget my first concert. I was 14, in love with David Bowie and ready to see him as the Thin White Duke at Earls Court. I didn’t have a ticket and neither did my friends Laura and Sam, but that didn’t matter as we’d decided to camp outside the box-office over night – unbeknown to our trusting Jewish parents.
For us, it was an edgy coming of age experience with a Young Americans soundtrack and I have never forgotten the moment Bowie walked on stage.
Sadly, my love of concerts has waned over the years and I’m now convinced I can have the same experience (without nasty portable loos) by simply turning up the sound system and putting an album cover at the bottom of the garden. But I have an eight-year-old daughter who sings chart songs verbatim, lip-synchs to The Beatles and loves my disco throwbacks, so a concert initiation felt right.
And so, despite my dislike of portable loos, large crowds and queues for refreshments, her musical rite of passage took place last June when my husband and I took her to British Summer Time at Hyde Park.
With a bill that included 10CC, Boyzone, Little Mix and Tom Jones, I figured there was someone for everyone, but my daughter loved them all.
When she wasn’t up on her feet, she was on my husband’s shoulders or the shoulders of some other gracious person in the crowd.
She sang, she shouted and even brought along her own ‘I Love’ banner for 10CC.
Between performances, we watched other impressive acts on the smaller stages, enjoyed fairground rides and ate our picnic in the sun.
As first concerts go, it was perfect and we – the parents rediscovered our mojo. And that’s why we’re returning to Hyde Park this summer, though deciding what day to go is tough as the bills include The Strokes and Beck (18 June) Blur and others (20 June) Kylie and Grace Jones (21 June) The Who and the Kaiser Chiefs (26 June) Taylor Swift (27 June) and finally on Family Day on 28 June, there is Mister Tumbles and Union J.
It’s a tough choice for an eight-year-old with loyalties that are split between Taylor and Tumbles, but until she is old enough to camp out overnight at the box office, I’ll decide who we are dancing to at BST in Hyde Park.
• Visit: www.bst-hydepark.com/music