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Music at track meets; Reebok Grand Prix, NYC; pros/cons

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  • #16
    Like everything, its how you do it. Is it possible to have the right music at the right time at a meet and most people enjoy it? Yes, but i dont want to take the chance that the dude controling the music gets it right, so i'd vote no.

    If you want super loud music of your choice then bring and I-pod and head phones. You get what you want and they people who dont want music get what they want.
    phsstt!

    Comment


    • #17
      Like others have said, music can have its place in meets, if done correctly. This means timing and selection (and volume).

      I had been told to incorporate music into announcing at Penn State indoors, and it's actually worked out fairly well. At least, the comments I received after a few of the big meets were positive ones regarding the use of music. It works particularly well when you know that at least the "home team" is into it (the selection was usually made by the athletes on the team).

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jamaicantrackfan
        Music is played regularly at the big Golden League meets in Europe.

        Also, music was very evident at the Beijing Olympics. I think after Bolt won in Beijing, they did play a lot of Bob Marley music then.

        At the Reebok meet in NY, they do play a lot of music for which I appreciate. Irie Jam Radio(Caribbean radio station in New York) is one of the main sponsors of the meet thus, music for them at the meet is more than appropriate.

        It might be a generation gap issue whereby older track folks don’t care for the music being played and the younger trackfans loving every bit of the music.
        I think youre onto something.

        Although Im a tweener and I have no problem with music done right. Which in my mind means the right volume.
        The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BisonHurdler
          If you guys prefer, they could always bring back "Lil' Bow Wow" back to perform again (he performed at Carson in '06).
          That was terrible.
          I was there and had never heard of Bow Wow. When I saw his name on the promo's (no Lil' was attached), I read it as Bow Wow Wow which I thought was an odd choice. But an 80's revival was going on in Hollywood clubs and Annabella had been on TV a few times, I guess my age was showing, somewhat....

          From what I remember, Bow Wow performed after the meet had finished and pretty much everyone left. I would have stayed and watched Bow Wow Wow

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BisonHurdler
            It works particularly well when you know that at least the "home team" is into it (the selection was usually made by the athletes on the team).
            Originally posted by Smoke
            The athletes like the music, it gives the meet atmosphere.
            Whether the athletes like the music should not be relevant. The music/no music decision should be based strictly on what will enhance spectator enjoyment of the meet. Among other things, I think that for most athletes, having large and happy crowds is more important than the selection of music.

            I personally prefer no music, but I know that music can make the sport more attractive. I agree with those who say it's a question of how it's done--the choice of music, the volume, and the exercise of good judgment as to when it's played are all very important.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tandfman
              Originally posted by BisonHurdler
              It works particularly well when you know that at least the "home team" is into it (the selection was usually made by the athletes on the team).
              Originally posted by Smoke
              The athletes like the music, it gives the meet atmosphere.
              Whether the athletes like the music should not be relevant. The music/no music decision should be based strictly on what will enhance spectator enjoyment of the meet.

              For some of the meets I do, the athletes ARE the spectators.

              And for the record, in the big meets with an actual large non-athlete crowd, the compliments on the music were made by said non-athletes.

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              • #22
                I don't like it. For me, it's not a generation thing. I don't care if they play reggae, Zeppelin, Hendrix, speed metal, Neil Young, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell....I go to a track meet to (gasp) watch track. To a Colorado Avs or Colorado College game to watch hockey. To a Rockies game to watch baseball. A Carolina game to watch basketball. I don't go for the music, certainly not at 120dB. I'll give a little lip service to the marketing side of things. That said, I think it's sad commentary on society that people need to be entertained 24/7 by music, the Internet, sound bites, visual bites, tweets and twitters, iPods, text messaging, Breaking News, Blackberries, Sanjay Gupta, Larry King etc etc etc. Are we that unhappy with ourselves that we cannot just sit with our own thoughts? Are we scared of what we might find if we did? Can't we have intelligent and fun conversations with our friends? Or complete strangers sitting next to us at the ballgame? Not able to sit and contemplate our navels anymore? Some of my fondest memories are of lounging in the warm sun at a meet or baseball game and just plain doing nothing, save for talking with my friends about what we just saw, or about the next event we're about to see. Why the need for constant stimulus overload??

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by DrJay
                  . Why the need for constant stimulus overload??
                  MTV generation? Attention span of a knat. We played Pong, now they're fighting 5,000 high def monsters with an arsenal of 1000 weapons to chose from.
                  phsstt!

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                  • #24
                    Although opposed to music at track meets in principal, I think it is the volume I object to more than the music itself.... and I am hard of hearing.. of course, maybe that is the reason I am hard of hearing. Wonder if that is covered by workman's comp?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DrJay
                      I don't like it. For me, it's not a generation thing. I don't care if they play reggae, Zeppelin, Hendrix, speed metal, Neil Young, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell....I go to a track meet to (gasp) watch track. To a Colorado Avs or Colorado College game to watch hockey. To a Rockies game to watch baseball. A Carolina game to watch basketball. I don't go for the music, certainly not at 120dB. I'll give a little lip service to the marketing side of things. That said, I think it's sad commentary on society that people need to be entertained 24/7 by music, the Internet, sound bites, visual bites, tweets and twitters, iPods, text messaging, Breaking News, Blackberries, Sanjay Gupta, Larry King etc etc etc. Are we that unhappy with ourselves that we cannot just sit with our own thoughts? Are we scared of what we might find if we did? Can't we have intelligent and fun conversations with our friends? Or complete strangers sitting next to us at the ballgame? Not able to sit and contemplate our navels anymore? Some of my fondest memories are of lounging in the warm sun at a meet or baseball game and just plain doing nothing, save for talking with my friends about what we just saw, or about the next event we're about to see. Why the need for constant stimulus overload??

                      I live literally right next to Camden Yards and the music they blare during games is annoying as all get-out. I definitely agree that overpowering music of any type is distracting at best during a sporting event.

                      To clarify, the music that we play at our meets tends to be rather quiet, usually rhythmic (often hip-hop type stuff chosen by the team members) that is very much a background-type deal (with the exception of the introduction of the w4x400 . . . the PSU girls generally have a specific track they like to have playing before their heat . . . but even then, it's only slightly louder, and it's not during the race).

                      One of my favorite music/track combos was the Mile at last year's Penn State Invitational where Mircea Bogdan broke 4 (with several others just on his heels). In the minutes leading up to the event, we had this very rhythmic, almost "tense" track playing quietly in the background (think Pink Floyd's "On The Run" without all the extra annoying sound effects like airplanes). Faded it out for the introductions, then quietly brought it back up during the race in the background. Definitely not noise pollution (although my voice announcing might be another story), and I actually had a few people (spectators, a coach, and one of the competing athletes) come up to me later and tell me essentially "that was the coolest atmosphere before/during a race I've seen."

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by DrJay
                        I don't like it. For me, it's not a generation thing. I don't care if they play reggae, Zeppelin, Hendrix, speed metal, Neil Young, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell....I go to a track meet to (gasp) watch track. To a Colorado Avs or Colorado College game to watch hockey. To a Rockies game to watch baseball. A Carolina game to watch basketball. I don't go for the music, certainly not at 120dB. I'll give a little lip service to the marketing side of things. That said, I think it's sad commentary on society that people need to be entertained 24/7 by music, the Internet, sound bites, visual bites, tweets and twitters, iPods, text messaging, Breaking News, Blackberries, Sanjay Gupta, Larry King etc etc etc. Are we that unhappy with ourselves that we cannot just sit with our own thoughts? Are we scared of what we might find if we did? Can't we have intelligent and fun conversations with our friends? Or complete strangers sitting next to us at the ballgame? Not able to sit and contemplate our navels anymore? Some of my fondest memories are of lounging in the warm sun at a meet or baseball game and just plain doing nothing, save for talking with my friends about what we just saw, or about the next event we're about to see. Why the need for constant stimulus overload??
                        Wow. That is almost exactly the lecture I gave at practice. I feel like someone must have been listening in, haha!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by gm
                          Anyone who wants to listen to music at a track meet these days already has earphones jammed in. No need to make the rest of us suffer.
                          Exactly. I go to track meets and baseball games to watch the sport, not listen to music. Although at Stanford they used to have drummers doing some entertaining stuff during distance runs, and I kind of liked it. But one thing it wasn't was LOUD.

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                          • #28
                            Let's put it this way: Would any fans attend a meet just because they like the music they play? Or, is it more likely, that fans would not attend a meet because the music they played drove them crazy! Track and field needs all the fans it can crab and to alienate a great number of fans is just plain crazy!

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                            • #29
                              thanks to everyone for a great discussion. this seems to have touched a nerve.

                              I think DrJay hit on the key problem: we go to the event to see and experience some great track and field (or basketball, or soccer, etc.). So why do need to have our reaction to this, or our moods, dictated by the music coming over the PA?

                              seriously: does the injection of music broadcast over the PA make for a better, more exciting, overall experience for the spectators and athletes alike?

                              I agree with many of the folks saying that it "depends" on how the music is used and to what degree.

                              BOTTOM LINE: does the music help the fans ENGAGE/interact with the athletes and races/events, does it enhance the natural drama of the event, or is just an intrusive, overbearing distraction?????

                              I argue it's more on the negative. Several of my only very casual track fan friends that have come with me to Reebok were driven absolutely crazy by all the music and it turned them off.

                              My argument is that the last 2 years at the Reebok Grand Prix the music has been overkill and that it has killed some of the electricity of the races, particularly the longer ones. You could see with the crowd: the music made them passive. They were not getting into and supporting the runners - they paid less attention to the races. It had this kind of trivializing effect on the whole thing.

                              So, I say it's cool and fun to have some music here and there between the races, but during the races the MC/announcer should be egging the crowd on to cheer on and clap for the competitors. This would make for more excitement, more intensity, than blasting out music so loud the crowd can't hear what the announcer is saying or hear any reaction that the crowd may be having.

                              Do folks out there see what I'm saying? I don't think it's "generational" or just down to being a track purist. It's a matter of crowd psychology.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                The drumming during distance events seems different. It's not a loud assault. It seems a bit more spontaneous and not so canned. It's joyous and there's something primal about it, which goes well with that most basic of sports, running far, fast (though some may argue, the most basic of sports is running short, REALLY fast.)

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