Research Recap: The impact of free, live music in a family-friendly atmosphere

Screenshot 2017-06-16 14.24.54Welcome to the second installment of our “Research Recap” blog series, featuring posts that highlight a particular finding from our recently published impact study, which examines how creative placemaking builds social capital in communities, using permanent outdoor Levitt venues as case studies.

In honor of National Family Fun Month (which you can read more about in last week’s blog post), today we’re turning our attention to the inter-generational appeal of Levitt concerts. A quick glance around any Levitt concert reveals a wide range of ages on the lawn—from infants to seniors and everyone in between. As the figure below suggests, parents across the country are enthusiastic about the family-friendly atmosphere at Levitt concerts—created in part by the green, expansive and welcoming open lawn settings that are a hallmark of both permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites.  As one survey participant explained, “My kids have the freedom to move around.”

The other key ingredient to creating a family-friendly atmosphere? High-quality musical programming, suitable for all ages. Other reports are confirming what we see on Levitt lawns—that musical programming is a particularly powerful inter-generational bonding mechanism. Just last month, London’s Royal Albert Hall issued a report that found approximately 66% of people to be happier and “more stimulated” while listening to live music; also finding 68% of study participants to be “more sociable” and 59% to be “more engaged.” High-quality and accessible musical programming sets the stage for connections among family-members (and friends) to be strengthened. Describing Levitt Shell, one Memphis stakeholder explained, “They do a really great job of choosing acts that are very talented and that appeal to a widespread range of people. The music is enjoyable for all ages without alienating or offending anyone.”


Here at Levitt, we empower towns and cities to transform underused public spaces into thriving destinations, where all members of the community can come together and enjoy an evening of free, live music. So, the next time you’re looking for a fun, inclusive (and free!) experience that the whole family can enjoy together, look no further than the Levitt lawn in your community.

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