At the beginning of the year, I wrote a column titled, “Only in the AV,” about the perception of Antelope Valley culture in the community and beyond.
The main point was about the mentality that the Valley is a cultural wasteland and will remain so, forever and ever until the end of time. This obviously creates a mental barrier on what can and can’t be accomplished.
Although the Valley has a long way to go, our culture is gradually progressing one inch at a time.
In casual conversations, usually I would hear about the amount of problems we have. Occurring more often, I have now begun to hear whispers of progress.
“I didn’t know we had events like this in Lancaster.” “How long as this business been here?”
Right now, this is the stage we are in. The “I don’t know” phase. This is the cultural crippler and the proverbial no man’s land of trying to create anything. Small business, music venue, etc. Instead of snipers and land mines, it’s landlords and overhead.
This is not a scientific study. It’s simply an observation. Obviously, the internal workings of how the sausage gets made determines how anything will succeed or fail.
Every case is different. However, one common factor is the hammering taken by external forces. People usually call that a journey.
The journey of Antelope Valley culture has been perpetually stuck in “I don’t know” for a long time.
How do we break out of this? That is the $64,000 question, isn’t it?
Consistency is the biggest factor in whatever happens next. Beyond that, we need something younger people can be a part of. It has been expanding with various events and types of business opening. However, it still feels as though much of the Valley is built for an older demographic and somewhat adapted for younger people.
I think these two generations working together will lead to a stronger future. First is acknowledging the need for this outlet.
One of the biggest issues is truly accepting the differences between the two age groups. When working punk, hip-hop, metal, or other related types of concerts, language has been a constant issue.
In having a DIY scene, we must make do with whatever spaces we have available to us. The genres mentioned above often contain language and subject matter accepted by one generation and not by another.
Having a dedicated venue that can support national touring acts, with an honest owner, is ideal. Without that, a space is needed where younger people can freely express themselves without the fear of being shut down, hanging overhead.
There are many facets to this problem and I’ve heard and experienced many of them before. Everything from, young people aren’t as profitable to promoters, to the hypothetical doom and gloom that will be brought upon whatever space they occupy.
Being on the young side of the fence, I can say that we’re definitely not perfect, but who is? I’m not going to try to save anything I’m not attached to.
If I never felt any acceptance by my environment, why would I stay?
If the best experiences in a young person’s life were in the AV, they might feel more inclined to make sure the next group has their day.