The last First On First Dickinson Summer Nights Concert of 2016 was this past Thursday, September 1st. I went to just about every downtown Dickinson summer concert in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I have mixed feelings about the downtown summer concerts this year.
No one can deny that there were more than several well-known, famous, “bigger” performers this year: Fire House, Black Hawk, Steel Heart. Firehouse gave a very good performance, and they acted like they were glad to be back in Dickinson. 32 Below probably gave a performance that was as good as Firehouse, and they acted the most enthusiastic about being in Dickinson while they were on stage.
Event organizer and MC, Brock White, was positive, professional, and up beat at every event. Event organizers Tracey Tooz and Mike Odegaard were professional, competent, and executed everything well. The tractor trailer stage with roof and lighting was an excellent stage, the stage could not have been better.
The event area was much larger than last year. There were about four different food vendors at each event. Because of the larger event area, and the rented table trailers, people were able to sit and eat more comfortably. Most event attendees would have liked it if the Wurst Shop would have been a food vendor again this year.
Everything that I have stated so far up above is good and positive. The negative comments that I am going to write concern mostly the type of people that attended the concerts. Somehow, the drinking of alcohol has become the predominant focus of the event. I don’t know if anybody ever saw this coming, knew that this would happen, or considered whether this was desirable or not.
I know that alcohol sales are probably the primary way that the events are paid for, and that drinking alcohol may be the main reason why so many people come downtown for the concerts on Thursday nights, but the heavy drinkers make the events not “family friendly”, or even “friendly”.
Good-natured, mature adults, can be jovial and considerate people when they are drinking beer. Good-natured, mature, jovial, considerate drinkers are fine for families with children to be around. But the summer concerts were not highly attended by families with children. I believe that more and more each year, moms and dads with kids, and other types of moderate, conservative people do not dare to come to the summer concerts because of the heavy drinking. And I agree that these people are probably right in not coming to the summer concerts because the drinking of alcohol has become predominant, and many of the drinkers are not mature, or good-natured.
There are many young men and women that get drunk, start acting foolish, not using good sense, acting kind of wild, and many adults who aren’t drinking don’t want or wouldn’t want themselves or their kids to be around these young people. There are both younger people and older people that become uninhibited when they drink alcohol, and they let their hostility come out in contentiousness, hostility, and fighting, which makes moderate adults not want to be around when there are a lot of people drinking alcohol.
Once it gets past about 8:30 p.m. at the downtown summer concerts, I get the definite feeling and impression that the crowd is not that friendly, the crowd is mostly wanting to get drunk and act wild, so it is not really like a community event at that point, it is like being in a bar that is having a band that night.