2 min read

Unsolicited Advice: Water should be free

Unsolicited Advice: Water should be free
Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

How to begin this post? We are unfathomably lucky to live in a world resplendent with unconscionable amounts of free, safe drinking water. We also are dead-center in a world of water-for-profit where both large conglomerates and edgy METAL startups offer a very similar product for money.

That's fine. There's room for both. If you carry a vessel with you, there are hopefully water fountains where you can forever replenish your bounty. If not, you can always go to a store and likely get a Poland Springs for $.99. Or you can buy the fancy kind and drop what you would for a craft beer. A veritable ocean of options.

Now, the calculus changes if we're talking about live concerts, especially festivals. Many - most! - do not permit re-entry. You may be there for hours. Your beautiful bodies and souls may need water, especially if the music is elevating your pulse and your dancing is increase sweat, diminishing nutrients. Water replenishes. But you're captive to a very specific marketplace where the only options are what the venue dictates.

While I understand there's a beautiful little open space in a venue's P&L spreadsheet for water sales, there's got to a better way. And there is:

Offer a robust number of water stations with cups. That's it!

Sure, sell your water for people who want it. Charge whatever you want. And you will get some takers. But it should be nonnegotiable that you offer free water with no strings attached.

Try this on for size: you likely have people in your midst that spent more than they could afford on the show you put on. They're not able to buy merch. They have no plans to get drunk. They're throwing their finances into a precarious state to see their favorite band.

Here's my little argument: You aren't likely to lose a lot of money on this simple, humane gesture! There will be plenty of people who won't think twice about buying the bottled or canned water. The people you are now providing good, clean water to are more likely than not the ones who have previously suffered through dehydration because they either lacked the money or weren't going to buy water because of the principles of it.

So we argue you'll likely keep a decent bottom line while helping out those who can't afford to buy water. It's the right thing to do and you will soon be behind the times if you don't do it soon.