Oh wow. Almost the entire summer has gone by, and not a single post from me. Whoops! Have been keeping myself busy, working, traveling, volunteering at the Humane Society a few Sundays, and even adopting a dog!
Anyway, about this idea of mine. I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy or something. I'm sitting here at work, IMing with a friend of mine on MSN messenger on my Sidekick3, and I just came up with this idea. I am going to two concerts this fall, one next month in Minneapolis and another in Denver in November. Both will be Hanson concerts (yes, I'm a Hanson fan and I'm not ashamed to admit it!). Wouldn't it be funny and fun if a group of deaf people showed up at the concert, communicating in ASL and just making the hearing people curious and whatnot?
There are still plenty of people who are clueless as to how deaf people enjoy music (or even get by in life with their hearing loss). Still, from time to time, I'll be asked "how can you like Hanson if you can't hear the music? Do you just like them for their looks?" "You're deaf and you love music? How can that be?!" I have to explain that it is very well possible for deaf people to enjoy music just like everyone else. Some may not actually HEAR the music, but they can feel the beats and vibrations and enjoy it. And some do hear and enjoy the music and the lyrics. And some may just prefer listening to all instrumental music, having difficulty hearing words in songs. Just because someone is deaf doesn't mean they can't enjoy music, right? Right!
I just got to thinking, it'd be fun if I could get a group of deaf people to attend the Denver concert (I could try it for Minneapolis too, but that's coming up pretty fast and I doubt there'd be enough time for everyone to book flights or plan roadtrips, while Denver's concert is still some time away). Hanson will be doing their one-mile walks a few hours before their concerts (something they've started doing last year, they do these walks to raise awareness of AIDS and poverty in Africa and to encourage people to take action and support any causes), and I'm sitting here imaging a group of deaf people walking with other Hanson fans, but communicating in full out ASL (or just sign language, some of us Wyomingites are PSE users), and just getting people curious and wondering what's going on. It could be a way to show hearing people that deaf people can and do enjoy music, and they can support different causes and that sort of thing. I don't know if this will actually work out, if it'll actually happen. But it's still fun to imagine and think about it, wonder what the outcome would have been like.
If this is possible, getting a group to go to the concert, I wonder if Hanson or the club where the concert is at would be able to do something special for the deaf concertgoers? I remember a few years ago when a band, I believe it was Simple Plan, who set up a loop system or something like that for a concert they did in Canada (article), so that the deaf concertgoers could hear the music and enjoy the show and have a great time. Too bad this doesn't happen for more concerts. For myself, if I can just get close enough to a speaker, I can take off my hearing aid and hear the concert music just perfectly (as I have discovered in August 2004 at a Hanson concert in Kansas City, MO.), and not have to listen to the audience as much (with the hearing aid on, it's just all 100% noise and echos and just chaos, ew). But that isn't going to work for every concertgoer, depending on their level of hearing losses and such. Hm. If there was a loop system in place for more concerts, or a device of some sort to allow the deaf concertgoers to hear the music the band/musician is playing, I'd surely take advantage of it!