Raffi’s Refusal To Play Big Arenas Makes Him a True Indie Rock Icon

"Why would I throw myself in that?"

The undisputed king of kids’ music has some serious rock star cred. Not only was his seminal album Singable Songs For the Very Young engineered by future-rock producer Daniel Lanois, but his entire attitude towards kids’ music, in general, was to always treat the music as real music, not just silly jingles for kids. This is why Raffi’s songs don’t drive parents nuts like some other earworms.

But, beyond the fact that Raffi’s music is just good, Raffi himself is also legitimately a super ethical musician. Here’s one amazing example: Raffi has specifically avoided playing big venues. Why? Well, in the fourth Fatherly’s podcast Finding Raffi, he reveals why he turned down playing big arenas like Madison Square Garden.

Speaking on the podcast, Raffi mentions that he rejected playing MSG because he didn’t want to make his fans suffer.

“Because the audience would be full of very, very young children and a very huge environment, [that’s] not the best environment for them, let alone me as a performer trying to reach them,” Raffi explained. He also added that places like Madison Square Garden “arent even a concert hall,” and because of those limitations, “why would I throw myself into that?”

This indie-rock move — a refusal to betray his core audience — resonated favorably among other folks in the music world. Eddie Vedder thinks Raffi is so legit because of this. And as a result of his admiration of Raffi, Vedder even covered “Baby Beluga.”

The larger point is that Raffi’s values in his music are reflected in his stagecraft. And, how many huge musicians can say the same?

You can check out the latest Finding Raffi episode right here, or on the following podcast platforms.