Rethinking is happening with classical music right now. Going to the symphony is a fine thing, no doubt. But it is an undertaking. Get dressed up, file in, stay silent, clap at only the prescribed moment, file out. Most people are, quite honestly, nervous at the symphony. And it isn’t really a natural way for many of us to enjoy music. No talking, no drinks, feeling uncomfortable and uninformed.
The folks at Fringe are changing that. I went to my first Fringe event on Saturday, and I was completely blown away. Its was laid-back and cool. There was beer, wine, and finger food. People clapped when they felt inspired by the music. We wore jeans. The musicians wore jeans. There was art and DJs before, during and after the event. Short movies and documentaries about the performers before the shows. And, like at any great concert, an obvious connection between the musicians and the audience. Rather than a room full of frozen penguins staring at a stageful of frozen penguins, there were just artists and music lovers. Smiling, clapping, and just generally having an awesome time. Fringe transformed classical music from something you do to feel adult, to something you do for fun.
It was an interesting lesson in how to rethink anything. Anything at all.