How does classical music get down with the kids? A Colorado orchestra is letting people blaze up during a series of outdoor concerts
Who said classical music was for stuffy old people? The Colorado Symphony Orchestra are taking advantage of the state's rapidly growing legal marijuana industry by organising a series of BYOW (bring your own weed) concerts. Local marijuana businesses have joined forces with the orchestra to create Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series (geddit).
There will be four concerts, beginning May 23rd, closing in a performance at Colorado's legendary outdoor amphitheatre, Red Rocks. So roll those joints, sit back and let the string section sooooothe you while you blaze. Cannabis will not be sold at the events and attendees must bring their own weed, but there will be a designated outdoor patio area for people to get high and drink in between performances.
Cannabis has been legal in Colorado since January and earlier this month, vending machines selling weed turned up in Denver. But the concerts are not the first time that a potential synergy between classical music and cannabis has been investigated. In 2006, a British study carried out by Dr Adrian North revealed that more than a quarter of classical music fans had tried cannabis.
Earlier this year, a man in New Zealand who was caught with 300 marijuana plants claimed that he played the plants classical music to aid their growth:
But does Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series come off as a desperate attempt to get young people to engage with classical music? "What do the kids like? Er, getting high?" This month saw the launch of B–Classic, a Belgian festival that says that they want to "engage new audiences and give classical music the same recognition as pop and rock music."
To this end, they've released a video of five Asian girls twerking to Dvorak's "Symphony No.9 Allegro con fuoco". Yeah, that'll do it, teenagers worldwide will realise that Miley Cyrus is terrible after all and that "Wrecking Ball" is nothing on a shit hot symphony.
So now that classical music is encouraging people to get high at concerts and to twerk to Dvorak, but will it work – or is it even necessary? Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip has always been of the opinion that classical music can be as boundary-pushing as any contemporary stuff right now (or, as he puts it: "Benjamin Britten would play gabba"). And as Field of Reeds – the celebrated neo-classical album from These New Puritans – proves, classical composition doesn't really need to get down with the kids. The kids are pretty good at that already.