When you hear the words, “The Oasis” mentioned in certain circles, you can see the look of disdain already emanating from faces. Commonly raised points include: You can’t swear, can’t hate mosh, and can’t smoke near the building. Oh, the horror! The things they don’t permit at a Youth Center! Well actually concerning that last complaint you can usually smoke at a reasonable difference from the building and no one actually says anything. Obviously, Joyce, the owner of The Oasis, just wants to be a killjoy when she sets Oasis policy. Question; Have any of you who have criticized Joyce actually talked to her? You may find out that she isn’t a strict and harsh nun who frowns deeply upon words like, “fun” but actually cares deeply about the nearby community, hence the reason why The Oasis even exists in the first place.
For all of its supposed faults, there are many important things about The Oasis that should stand out. First, The Oasis is an actual youth center in Lake County that is not tax-payer funded. Let me repeat that. The Oasis is an actual youth center in Lake County that is not tax-payer funded. I’m almost tempted to repeat that a third time for obvious emphasis. In fact, The Oasis is completely funded by donations from the local community and the events that it hosts. What does this mean?
When the Oasis raises donations it does so by promoting its mission which is the youth of the area. It is for this reason that The Oasis is and will always primarily remain a youth center, rather than just another music venue with stringent rules regarding moshing and crowdsurfing. Shockingly, parents want their pre-teens and teens to be able to go to Oasis and not get hate-moshed by over eager dancers. Apparently the whole, “You’re gonna get hit if your not moving at a show,” doesn’t apply in parents minds when their 12 year olds are there. Yea, none of us saw that coming! The fact that the Oasis has so many shows is because its crew (Jon, Ryan, James, ect.) and Joyce actually want to promote the non-existent and devoid music scene we have here. No, being a self-proclaimed world class DJ doesn’t count toward musical creativity and ingenuity for our music scene.
The Oasis allows for parents to send their kids to a supervised place – yes I shuddered as well as a teen when I heard the word “supervise” – where they won’t be “hanging out” at their friend’s house which is obvious code for sneaking/doing something their parents don’t approve of. How else do you think some of us saw a certain scene from the Titanic in our early teen years? (Pro-tip: Hanging out at one’s friends house always occurs when their parents are assured to be occupied and out of the house. Kid’s, especially teens are actually quite smart.) As much as we all did, and still do despise supervision, this is one of the main features – dare I say purposes – of The Oasis. Kids can go there and generally not get into trouble that will make them stare at the floor while their parents squirm and ponder upon disciplinary measures that will hopefully work.
In fact, with this recent teacher’s strike in the Grayslake area, The Oasis will most likely become a main supervised place for kids to go and hangout. Unfortunately, not many other Community’s have a place like The Oasis, so please appreciate it for the rarity that it truly is. I wish Fox Lake had a place like it instead of a series of parking lots, poor excuse for a lakefront park, and decaying buildings where the local highschoolers go to smoke weed and try out new drugs. Well, I’ll admit that our library isn’t too bad.
The point to my possibly incoherent ramble is that we should appreciate the Oasis for what it truly is – a youth center – and then also appreciate its secondary accomplishment; being a music venue. In today’s scene with the lack of venues that will even hold anything slightly metal and book most unknown local bands, beggars can’t be choosers. Before you bash a place, think about the main reason that place exists. One of the reasons we can’t have nice things a.k.a. “shows” almost anywhere is because certain people can’t have respect for the local venues. Often we end up losing those venues and the so-called “hardcore” scene that exists in Lake County is banished to the dark dimly lit corridors of “basement shows”. So please, enjoy the venue for what it is – not what you want it to be.