The last Rooftop Concert of the year happens tonight and features the Lower Lights, The Folka Dots and Seafinch. As with all Rooftop Concerts, this one should fantastic, though my experience is that the last show of the year is always a little bit extra special. The cooler weather, earlier sunset, and the plethora of sweaters make the event just a little more cozy. It’s the big autumnal concert of the year in a place that has amazing autumns.
The guide (link in the first sentence) has a complete run down. Though many of us, myself included, have a tendency to simply consume these events, it’s especially worth taking a look at the section of the guide about keeping the concerts going. They’re not just inevitable but rather take a lot of hard work as well as community investment. Meaning money, among other things.
And speaking of investment, I thought it might be a good time to review why these concerts are worth having in the first place. The obvious answer, of course, is that they’re fun and enjoyable.
But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve written before about the concept of “mystique,” or the allure and reputation of a city. It’s a hard thing to pin down, but research shows that young people tend to gravitate toward “cooler,” “hipper” cities. In other words, places that have things like the Rooftop Concert Series.
For young people, that means a more exciting place to live. For people of all ages, however, it means a more vibrant, economically stable city.
If that wasn’t enough, research also shows that a strong music scene itself can make a city more vibrant. In the past, I’ve equated this idea to what The Atlantic Cities called the Opera House Effect — wherein financial investment in the arts pays big economic dividends way down the line. But the idea is really more broad: bolstering the arts simply makes communities better all around. The arts ultimately revitalize cities, make for better business, and draw visitors.
As the post in that last link explains, art really is an investment, not a luxury. And when it comes to the Rooftop Concerts, that investment happens to be a whole lot of fun as well.