The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is trying something legitimately new. They are presenting a series of classical music concerts sponsored by the cannabis industry.

From the Denver Post: “The concerts, organized by pro-pot promoter Edible Events, will start May 23 with three bring-your-own marijuana events at the Space Gallery in Denver’s Santa Fe arts district and culminate with a large, outdoor performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sept. 13. The events are being billed as fundraisers for the CSO, which will curate a themed program of classical music for each show.”

The entire article is hereNPR also picked up the story.

I have to say that I’m impressed with the courage of Colorado Symphony CEO Jerry Kern and the Symphony’s Board of Directors. I can think of nothing that more blatantly, and cheekily, refutes the sometimes off-putting, more-precious-than-thou image of a symphony orchestra concert than the notion of welcoming a bunch of stoners into the audience.

But on a more serious level, there’s this. Marijuana, for many people, expands perception and heightens receptivity to sensory stimuli. Are those not the qualities one wants in an audience? Let’s face it, for many people the contemporary classical concert presents some barriers to enjoyment. If you did not happen to grow up loving the music or desiring (or at least feeling comfortable with) the socio-cultural trappings of a classical concert, there’s little incentive to even experiment with attending a concert. That leaves a lot of beauty “on the table” or, to mix my metaphors, if an orchestra plays in a concert hall and no one is around to hear it, has music been made?

The sound of a symphony orchestra at full throttle is pretty mind-blowing without marijuana, so why not make a concert of symphonic music a welcoming environment for mind blowers? I, for one, am curious to hear how this experiment plays out.