Let the Kids Dance! Seattle in the 90s: A tidal wave of unforgettable music roars out of the city. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam take over global pop culture and Seattle is declared the world's coolest place to be. But here, reality is different for young people.For almost two decades, the Teen Dance Ordinance has made it illegal for anyone under 18 to attend concerts without a parent or guardian. Police raid punk shows and hip-hop clubs. Politicians ban show posters on electric poles. All-ages music is criminalized. And young people begin to fight back.Let the Kids Dance! is a seven-part docuseries chronicling an untold chapter of pop-culture history. It's a story about moral panic, grassroots activism and an unstoppable music community that fought for its freedom.Let the Kids Dance! is created and hosted by Jonathan Zwickel. It is produced by KUOW in Seattle, a member of the NPR Network.
Let the Kids Dance!

Let the Kids Dance!

From KUOW

Seattle in the 90s: A tidal wave of unforgettable music roars out of the city. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam take over global pop culture and Seattle is declared the world's coolest place to be. But here, reality is different for young people.For almost two decades, the Teen Dance Ordinance has made it illegal for anyone under 18 to attend concerts without a parent or guardian. Police raid punk shows and hip-hop clubs. Politicians ban show posters on electric poles. All-ages music is criminalized. And young people begin to fight back.Let the Kids Dance! is a seven-part docuseries chronicling an untold chapter of pop-culture history. It's a story about moral panic, grassroots activism and an unstoppable music community that fought for its freedom.Let the Kids Dance! is created and hosted by Jonathan Zwickel. It is produced by KUOW in Seattle, a member of the NPR Network.

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Part 7: Believe in Kids

At the turn of the 21st century, the TDO's days are numbered. A generational shift puts a new era within sight. The closest mayoral election in Seattle's history will decide the fate of all-ages music. But even with a win, the creative community will face new economic pressures as old Seattle gives way to modern gentrification. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 6: The Right Kind of Stupid

After 15 long years of the TDO, public opinion is shifting. Local alternative media starts covering the fight for all-ages music. Rock stars join activists in musical flash mobs to protest at city council meetings and community forums. And for the first time, a new slate of elected leaders recognizes the law's overreach. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 5: F*ck the Laws

The TDO made it impossible for venue owners to turn a profit while hosting all-ages shows. But the law contained a few exceptions, allowing concerts at nonprofit spaces and religious institutions. Savvy promoters take full advantage. In the latter half of the 90s, two all-ages venues sent a lifeline to the all-ages community by hosting unforgettable shows, leading to dramatically different results. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 4: Shake You Down For Sure

Seattle's homegrown hip-hop scene is born from DJ-led dance parties put on by school-aged kids for their friends in backyards, rec halls and community centers. With the arrival of the TDO, these events draw scrutiny from Seattle police, who seem particularly intent on interfering with—and extorting—Black culture. But hip-hop finds a way to thrive, and soon Seattle artists are playing underground shows, building community and blowing up. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 3: The Best Pack of Idiots

In 1991, grunge explodes onto the world stage and Seattle is declared the coolest place on earth. Media depicts the city as a creative utopia, but in reality, the Teen Dance Ordinance is suffocating the music scene. A new city attorney embraces the law, crusading for civility on his own authoritarian terms. In response, the Seattle suburbs become an unlikely incubator for live music and teen solidarity. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 2: "Kill Lou Guzzo"

Seattle police begin enforcing the TDO, and youth are fighting back. Cops aggressively shut down a show at Gorilla Gardens--considered the birthplace of grunge--leading young punks to battle with bricks and Molotov cocktails. Another punk-rock riot tears apart the Kitsap Ferry. Artists resist creatively, but kids are arrested, shows are squashed, and young music fans suffer the most. Listen to the official Let the Kids Dance! playlist on Spotify. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Part 1: City Gone Crazy

The genesis of Seattle's Teen Dance Ordinance begins at a nightclub called the Monastery. In the early 1980s, this all-ages disco was renowned on the West Coast for cutting-edge music and all-night parties. Some experienced the Monastery as a radically inclusive refuge where queer youth find community. Others described it as a den of illicit drugs and predatory behavior. Both are likely right. We can only make Let the Kids Dance! because listeners support us. You have the power! Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW kuow.org/dance Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Let the Kids Dance! (Trailer) - Coming April 4, 2024

Seattle in the 90s: A tidal wave of unforgettable music roars out of the city. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam take over global pop culture and Seattle is declared the world's coolest place to be. But here, reality is different for young people. For almost two decades, the Teen Dance Ordinance has made it illegal for anyone under 18 to attend concerts without a parent or guardian. Police raid punk shows and hip-hop clubs. Politicians ban show posters on electric poles. All-ages music is criminalized. And young people begin to fight back. Let the Kids Dance! is a seven-part docuseries chronicling an untold chapter of pop-culture history. It's a story about moral panic, grassroots activism and an unstoppable music community that fought for its freedom. Let the Kids Dance! launches April 4, wherever you get your podcasts. Support KUOW Podcasts: https://kuow.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.