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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Age limit changes at events can welcome more students

    No matter how “grown up” UA students may feel now that they’re in college, our age is still preventing many of us from truly experiencing Tucson.

    Tucson is much more than host to the UA and the inevitable college parties — the city is alive with music and art, waiting to be discovered by those students brave enough to venture away from campus. However, there is a roadblock in the way.

    “A large portion of Tucson’s culture and counterculture revolves around its local artists, bands and festivals,” said Samuel Nerenberg, an optical engineering graduate student.

    “Unfortunately, the forums for these events tend to be bars, or the events themselves are alcohol-related.”

    I’ve been kicked out of The Hut halfway through a show after ordering a soda and getting caught underage, and I’ve felt the isolation of drinkers versus non-drinkers separated by a cage at The Rock.

    It’s not that I want to turn 21 so I can legally “rage,” I just want the freedom to be able to experience all that Tucson has to offer. I want to meet more Tucsonans and attend a wine tasting at Tap & Bottle, or venture over to Sky Bar while enjoying a slice of pizza from Brooklyn Pizza Company.

    “Before [turning 21],” Nerenberg said, “I felt isolated from Tucson culture, almost a complete outsider, even though I’d lived here for four years. After, I was able to finally participate in such activities and find an identity as a Tucsonan rather than a student.”

    The music that comes from Tucson and its cast of characters is too good to miss out on just because I’m months shy of an arbitrary number.

    The Tubes with Nakia and The Love Language will be taking the stage at The Hotel Congress on Sept. 14, but admittance is strictly for those 21 and over. I’m particularly interested in “RAW Tucson Presents… Translations”, an arts organization showcasing film, fashion, music and photography by Tucson artists, on Sept. 13 — but the phrase “21 ” is clearly stated on the ticket.

    “One downfall is that you can’t even enter places like Fuku Sushi and Frog and Firkin after certain times if you aren’t over 21,” said Brooke Finley, a junior nursing student. “Sometimes I want to attend trivia nights at Sky Bar and the Auld Dubliner and don’t want to drink, but I simply can’t go in due to my age.”

    Popular haunts in Tucson should consider the number of underage students they turn away. If more shows lowered their age limit from 21 or required wristbands to drink, venues could see more business.

    Some local locations are starting to shift in this direction, a positive change for the city.

    “We’re doing more underage shows now more than ever,” said David Slutes, the entertainment director at Hotel Congress, which used to have only shows for the 21-and-over crowd. “Our demographic is really 18 to 24 [years of age].”

    The 21-and-over age limit at many venues locks out too many students from the lively downtown scene. Changes like those at Hotel Congress are steps in the right direction to enable all UA students to experience everything Tucson has to offer.

    Kalli Wolf is a junior studying journalism. Follow her on

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