I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a dilly-dallyer, I am not a particularly fast person. I love to let it linger! I love this about myself, I think it is central to my experience of life. If I plan to hang out with someone for a short 2 hour coffee and chat, you bet your ass that it’s going to develop into a day-long, unfolding hang where we run all over Burlington. Another thing about me, I love the ritual of going out. For me, it is such a lovely form of stress relief to put on a silly outfit, make some questionable mixed drinks, and go out on the town. But this is where I have qualms with the city of Burlington, because every start time in this damn ‘city’ is weighed against me.
I’m positive you know what I am talking about. I swear, my sophomore year after COVID regulations were lifted and house shows and basement concerts were returning, the start times were reasonable. You can see this just looking back at some of the Burlington band’s instagram accounts. We weren’t even talking about my ideal of 10-11 PM (which gives you plenty of time to eat a late 7 PM dinner, leisurely get ready for an hour and a half, then still have plenty of time for a long drawn-out pregame before pulling up to the function a fashionable half an hour to an hour late). But at least the shows were starting around 9:30, 8 PM at the absolute earliest. Now? It’s absolute madness. I should never see a house show starting before 7 PM. It can pass if it’s in the darty range (12-4/5PM), but between 5-9PM are sacred hours. I am getting dinner, I’m kiki-ing, I’m doing my one drink per hour (interspersed by water) routine. This is my dilly dally time, and God help you if you interrupt my dilly dally time. Start times around this time aren’t morally permissible.
Now, this isn’t really an issue on the band’s behalfs. They really do their best with the constantly prowling neighbors and cops over-eager to hand out tickets. The real fear is being shut down, probably as a result of the mob of first-years ever-present outside of at-capacity house shows. No hate to them (ok maybe a little hate), the party options for a first-year trying to get their bearings in Burlington VT aren’t great! However, this makes everything even more anti-dilly dally. Because there is no pulling up to a house show fashionably late, you gotta get there at doors unless you want to have to deploy a flirt campaign with the door people. Never a good look (unless they’re into it).
You may be saying “but catquest, what about the bars? You have until 2 AM for those, sure that’s enough time to accommodate a healthy amount of lingering around!” NO. No it is not. Because I made the mistake of going abroad last semester to places where things closed from 4-6, sometimes even 8 AM. And this, this is truly the dilly dallyer’s dream. You could have a whole separate 2-hour adventure then go BACK to the club and dance until the sun rises. You can have endless pregames, with the only fear being the 1 AM mark where the lines to places get kind of out of hand. Never is there a more gratifying night than when you get to watch the sunrise on the walk home and know that you are not waking up until at least 2 PM. Now, I know that this is unachievable in Burlington, Vermont. But as a lingerer, I beg. Tickets be damned. Let’s at least bring back those 9 PM start times. For me?