Give Me Liberty or Give Me A Variety of Live Music

Jake Tapley

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Having lived in Evansville my whole life, I appreciate its small city feel – an attribute complementary to its big city size.

But as much as I would express this hypothetical ratio as being gratifying for both residents and tourists alike, I still recognize that there are some setbacks.

The major one – and I think it has come to every student’s attention a time or two – is the lack in variety of things to do. Now, for those students who have come of age, the bar scene offers a much bigger selection in location and entertainment.

But as a Freshman, I am nowhere near being granted those liberties. This is why I would personally like to see a change in the local entertainment that would be inclusive of people under the age of 21.

When I say “change in entertainment,” I am mostly talking about the addition of more unrestricted music venues.

Because I know that if I want to go see or play music somewhere, I am very limited in what I can see or where I can play.

Local venues such as Boney Junes and The Hatch, both of which do not have age requirements for entry, are great for local rock bands but would not be as ideal for solo performers who are looking for a different sound and crowd.

USI Freshman, Trey Finch, expressed similar thoughts toward the issue. He saw a lack of variety in local venues for younger crowds as needing to be publicly addressed. He was particularly concerned with the lack of a local hip-hop venue, which had never really occurred to me before. But aside from night clubs, there is virtually no consistent place for such artists to perform in the local area.

And some people will argue that nearby cities such as Louisville, St. Louis, or Nashville provide a solution to the variety issue. But I would just point out that making such frequent excursions would pose problems in impracticality and expense.

There is definitely a market for these sort of venues locally; the west-side venue, Boney Junes, is proof enough of that.

“And musicians should want to have more options on places to play and audiences to reach,” Finch keenly added. “Because you don’t have to be over 21 to enjoy music.” And that is the real problem here. No one has taken this simple concept into much consideration.

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