The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Don’t bar minors from seeing live music in a college town


Every Kearney bar has its own personality. Some are dive bars, some are for country dancing, some lure in crowds with food and some are perfect for late-night Bible studies. 

But once in a while, these venues bring in acoustic guitars, original artists or budding garage bands to freshen up the atmosphere. 

When Kearney bars bring in live music, they should consider opening up their venues to minors.

Hear us out. 

It would benefit Kearney bars to cater to the flow of college students.

It’s understandable for bar owners to worry about the liabilities that arise when minors remain in their venue past 9 p.m. In fact, this is a responsible mindset needed to preserve their business. 

If places are teeming with live music, bars could mark minors hands’ at the door with large Xs or other symbols to indicate that they should not be served. 

Bars can also hold occasional events that are labeled for all ages. They can serve only non-alcoholic drinks for the event if they are still concerned. 

Alternatively, not every Kearney resident wants bars to be overcome by crazy college kids in their 20s. Obviously, this is a generalization.

Opening the doors to younger college students could serve as early advertisement for Kearney bars. When they reach 21 years of age, where are they going to go for drinks? The hope is they’d seek the places where they witnessed the energy created by live bands.

Another concern is that bar owners won’t immediately profit from minors. 

While they wait for their 21st birthday, bars should consider serving food. Nothing attracts hungry college students more than late-night food. They don’t need to have a full-on restaurant’s menu, but perhaps a small selection of simple items for visitors to choose from. 

Live music is an even bigger draw for some college students. At these events, the cover charge partially goes to the band and to the venue. But if minors attend, bar owners could charge minors a few bucks more than the standard cover charge. 

Students will pay if they want to see the band badly enough, but the cost might dissuade minors who have ulterior motives. 

Bars aren’t the only ones who would benefit from allowing minors to see live music. The musicians would get exposure too. Loosening this boundary would strengthen the crowd numbers, and it would give the band more potential customers at their merchandise tables. 

The music scene in Kearney is a close-knit one. It would be easier for them to get their names out there in a college town if more college students could watch them play after 9 p.m. 

Let’s make a few things clear.

We are not encouraging college students to drink if they are not “of age,” and we are not suggesting that bar owners infringe upon any laws or ordinances. 

We think letting more young people see live music would benefit college students, local bands and the bars. Every bar’s vibe is different, so the owners need to decide what is best for their business. 

What we think is best is inviting more students to see what they have to offer.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *