Platts: The Lawn Rules |

Platts: The Lawn Rules

by Barbara Platts

Notice posted by the board of Picnic People Who Want to Continue to Listen to Music Outside the Benedict Music Tent:

We would appreciate if all users of The Lawn would adhere to the following rules/recommendations/encouragements/warnings. We’ve been given a gift to be able to listen to world-renowned classical musicians free of charge in Aspen, Colorado. Due to the generosity bestowed on us by the Aspen Music Festival and School, we have taken it upon ourselves to post and enforce the following for those using The Lawn. With a full season ahead of us, we ask that you read this list thoroughly and follow our direction, lest you end up in a loud, downstairs club listening to top 40, bass dropping hits for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!

Please do not attempt the following on The Lawn:

Vocal communication: People are trying to listen to classical music here.

Permit your child to laugh: If they are of the giggling type, leave them at home with a babysitter.

Sneeze: Hold it in! If you must sneeze please walk away from The Lawn.

Bring a large dog that may scare the smaller ones or bring a small dog that gets too yappy and annoys the larger ones.

Bite your nails: We realize this isn’t really a loud activity, but it certainly isn’t a pretty one either.

Get too belligerent: Look, we appreciate intoxication, particularly if it’s reached via the avenue of fine wines and luxurious liquors, but we ask that it not lead to gregarious roars or vibrant guffaws.

We encourage the following on The Lawn:

Large, colorful umbrellas: Especially when there is no forecast for rain.

Yellow ponchos that are two sizes too big.

Floral printed camp chairs —Just like grandma’s sofa.

Those outdoor chairs that have a little built-in awning over them for shelter from rain and shine: Those are very appropriate. Bonus if yours has a cup holder!

Clever reading material: You know, something that really shows your intelligence…like The New Yorker, The Economist or an academic study on how classical music positively affects the brain.

Largely brimmed, floppy hats made of beaver hide … I mean, why not, right?

Cat naps: This helps to represent the serenity of The Lawn. However, be careful that this does not turn into a deep sleep where snoring is probable. NO SNORING IS ALLOWED ON THE LAWN!

Food and drinks not to eat on The Lawn:

Carrots: The crunch is extremely disruptive.

Any edible item wrapped in aluminum foil that you will ultimately have to unwrap.

Lay’s Potato Chips: It’s not so much the crunch. Frankly, you’re looking a bit plump as of late and don’t need any further encouragement.

Popcorn: This ain’t no movie theater. We are a classy ass bunch and don’t need movie time treats.

Champagne: While celebrating is always encouraged, champagne bottles are noisy when being uncorked. And often they fizz over, which can be distracting.

Beer in a can or bottle format: Growlers are acceptable if they are opened before the music begins.

Note: If you are not sure if a food item is appropriate to bring, please feel free to contact the board.

Food and drink we recommend eating on The Lawn:

Salmon: It’s quiet and healthy! However, please adhere to the above rule regarding aluminum foil.

Soup: As long as you don’t make that disagreeable slurping sound.

Cheese: Sans crackers please … we don’t appreciate the crunch.

Sake: Quiet, versatile and cultured.

Sophisticated wines that you can speak knowledgeably about. No boxed wines please.

Please take note of all of the rules/recommendations/encouragements/warnings listed above. As stated before, we are incredibly fortunate to have access to the music that plays in the Benedict Music Tent for free and we do not need any messy, loud or just plain unappealing individuals messing that up for the rest of us. If adherence to the above is not met you will get one warning before you are considered inept to participate in the musical enjoyment of The Lawn.

Thank you for your time, and happy summer!

Barbara Platts thinks that sitting out on The Lawn during a performance in the Benedict Music Tent is hands down one of the best summer activities available in Aspen. She just wishes people would respect the rules! Reach her at