The Old Rock House will no longer charge minors an additional $2 at shows, effective July 1st. Owner Tim Weber notes that the fee is nonexistent in most markets around the country. In a release we received moments ago, he says, "In this economy and in this age where a new entertainment option pops up every day, it just doesn't feel right to charge this additional fee to our youngest and ostensibly newest customers."
He says curfews will still apply, but it's worth noting that he also says there will be no shows restricted to 21 and up. This comes just a few months after ORH announced that local bands can get into the venue for free.
Weber doesn't plan to raise drink or ticket prices. "Honestly, I don't think we will have to charge anything more that the customer will see," he says. "It may have an impact on deals with bands, but we will see -- because it also benefits the bands."
As for why the venue is making the switch right now, he says: "Again, St. Louis is the only market that charges this fee, and all the clubs charge it. I was around when clubs started charging ten, fifteen years ago. Large venues charge 'facility fees' that clubs can't get away with, so we created this as an offset to the high cost of doing an all-ages concert.
"I understand why everybody (including me) charges it or charged it; I simply don't think it makes sense anymore to keep charging it. There are clubs charging $3, $4, $5 surcharges now. That could set this market back if we turn off those customers long term."
The full release:
The Old Rock House believes that it is the duty of the venue to participate in the "fan development" side of the live music business. With that as a guiding principle, the Old Rock House has decided to challenge the decade long St. Louis practice of charging an additional fee to concert-goers under the age of 21 (also known as the "minor surcharge").
Effective July 1st, every concert at the Old Rock House will be open to all ages (except where restricted by curfew) and none of them will have a "minor surcharge." Minors under the age of 18 are still required to be off the premises by midnight. "In this economy and in this age where a new entertainment option pops up every day, it just doesn't feel right to charge this additional fee to our youngest and ostensibly newest customers. What other industry charges their newest customers a higher fee than anyone else?" said Old Rock House co-owner Tim Weber. "St. Louis is the only market where this surcharge exists. If clubs in Chicago and Portland and Des Moines can figure out how to operate without this fee, we owe it to our customers and to fans of the artists we book to figure it out as well."
Tickets already sold will include the language "$2 Minor Surcharge at Door", but beginning July 1 that fee will no longer be collected by the club on any ticketed event.