Tuesday, July 17, 2007
You get what you pay for
Remember that story about the fistfight that broke out in Boston's Symphony Hall at the Pops concert recently? I was half expecting a repeat of that performance tonight at the N.Y. Philharmonic's concert in Central Park. This wasn't my first time at one of these, but it was perhaps the most fraught so far. Throw a free musical event in the park with fenced in areas for people to sit on a weeknight when a lot of people end up arriving late and you have a recipe for some pretty rude behavior. It amazes me how people who show up 15 minutes after the concert starts expect to find a seat in front of the hundreds of people already sitting down. There were certainly a lot of footprints on blankets and heated exchanges. At what point do you give up the illusion that you can somehow control the crowd around you? It's sad this has to happen at something I'd otherwise champion wholeheartedly. It's heartwarming on a theoretical level that all those people come out to listen to classical music. Of course it is an excuse to have a summer evening picnic with friends and family, see some fireworks and openly flout the open-container law as well, but the music's a big part of it. At least I like to think of it that way. Would it be better if say they charged a token handful of dollars to get in to keep the crowd down somewhat, I wonder. Eventually, things did settle down, and we got to appreciate most of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition without interruption.