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Chris Rose: Price points

The record will show that, over the past 25 years, I have written many more positive accounts of our great annual gathering than negative.

The most volatile issue that fans react to year in and year out has been the ever-increasing cost of the event.

Personally, I think 60 bucks is a bargain for the number of quality acts you can see at the Fair Grounds on any given day, particularly since many of these acts would cost $60 alone to see at the House of Blues.

But I am concerned about this admission price being applied to kids.

As a father of three, I anticipate a time in the near future when it will cost me $240 just to get my family inside the gates, never mind the food and refreshments necessary to sustain us for eight hours of wandering to grounds, dancing and generally horsing around.

Currently, Jazz Fest allows kids ten and under to get in for $5. Fair enough. This has allowed me to practically raise my kids at the festival; we've been coming since they were infants. It's in their blood.

And it seems to me a goal of Jazz Fest is to provide a setting for local families to explore and enjoy the broad palette of Louisiana music, food and crafts together.

But. even if the admission doesn't increase in the next two years – and what are the chances of that? - a typical day at the fest for my family is going to top out at around $400.

I protest.

I usually bring my kids to the festival three times a year and, doing the math, that's about a $1,000 annul investment to indoctrinate my kids to the exotic charms and complexities of Louisiana culture they won't find anywhere else.

It's the teens ans tweens that are being priced out - just the target, and vulnerable, audience we need to keep engaged and interested in our precious culture.

For the cost of a family of four to attend Jazz Fest, I could take my kids to the beach for a week, or enroll them in a month of summer camp.

I'd prefer to introduce them to the magic of zydeco, Dixieland and pecan catfish.

Please, Jazz Fest. Give it a thought. Give us a break.
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