The short answer is something like this: if you are not of legal drinking age then you should absolutely not no matter what, if you are legally allowed to drink then you still probably should not. Thinking it's that simple though would be incredibly naive and the issue is made even more complicated by the fact that we're talking about the music industry.
You have to make your own informed decisions at your own risk and accept whatever the consequences may be of that. However, you can't make an informed decision without some information. So, here's some food for thought about the situations you may face regarding alcohol and the work place:
- Drinking causes you to lose your inhibitions and risk acting in a manner that will risk your job or reputation
- Most people in the music business do drink and will do so at work related events
- Most also won't hold it against you if you abstain
- There are also many people in the industry who don't drink or drink very little
- Sneaking a drink when you are not 21 can get you into a lot of trouble
- It's possible your boss will actually give or buy you a drink at some point, regardless of your age
- Many music business networking events revolve around drinking
- You could still drink a soda, cranberry or pineapple juice, or a virgin cocktail without anyone knowing you are abstaining
- Drinking can of course lead to things like hangovers, blackouts, giggling, vomiting, falling, anger, bad decisions, embarrassing admissions, etc.
- It's possible you will face peer pressure from colleagues who really want you to drink with them, regardless of your age
- Some company cultures include frequent drinking at things like company dinners, meetings with clients, showcases, happy hour outings, holiday parties, concerts, etc.
- There are countless horror stories of young employees who became the office gossip after a few too many drinks and scandalous activities at the office party
- Your boss could be liable if you are not 21 and he or she provides you with alcohol
- You could obviously also get into legal trouble if you drink when you are not yet 21
- Drinking and driving is always unsafe
- Jack Daniels may suit Ke$ha well, but it probably won't look as cool on the new intern