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Subtly, the La Crosse area has been discriminating against involvement in the arts, specifically music, by limiting who has access to them. Those involved in the community should be aware of how and why this is affecting supporters and fans of music.

The problem with the La Crosse music scene is that there are so few alternatives to alcohol-selling establishments for artists to play in. The places where artists have an audience are accompanied by alcohol, and many people are excluded from music as a result.

Bars primarily target males from ages 21-35, usually young adults and white-collar workers, which is only a small percentage of people who enjoy music. Additionally, there are many reasons some people abstain from alcohol and avoid bars -- addiction, health, age, religion, their children, or needing to drive, for example. These people deserve to have access to music as much as anyone able to consume alcohol.

There’s nothing wrong with bars (La Crosse is famous for them), but they aren’t a good place for a music scene due to how many people can’t attend concerts. As a community, we should celebrate diversity and music by promoting venues that are open to everyone, not just alcohol consumers.

Sharing information and learning about all-ages shows can change the exclusion we see in music. The Warehouse, a non-profit, all-ages venue located downtown, welcomes everyone and exposes them to a supportive music scene. Consider attending an all-ages concert to show your support. You can always drink afterward.

Liz Puck, Sparta

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