Summer is our favorite time of year. What with amphitheatre tours by Toby Keith and James Taylor, fantastic festival packages like Lollapalooza ’03 and Vans Warped Tour ’03 and magnificent co-headlines such as the Justin Timberlake / Christina Aguilera pairing, summer is definitely our kind of season. Viva la summer! Long live Daylight Savings Time!

But summer is more than shows by Jimmy Buffett or Fleetwood Mac. It’s more than special concert series like Atlanta’s or Nashville’s . In fact, if there’s one thing that makes summer great, something that makes the time between June and September extra special, it’s the faces of the little children that come to visit our humble, 5,000 acre spread, otherwise known as the compound.

A tour of our data-processing plantation is often the highlight of the season for many a child. They come to us from all over the world – London, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, Des Moines – their eyes glowing and their faces filling with wonder as they sneak a peak behind the largest, third-party concert-info machine on the planet. They love seeing how incongruous data is assembled to form Cake’s tour, their jaws often drop with amazement as they discover how support acts are listed for Radiohead and Neil Young and they’re absolutely astounded by the displays in our wax museum, like that magical moment in concert history when the managers for Aerosmith and KISS negotiated for this year’s biggest co-headline package. Though, truth be told, we think it was the exact replications of all those snarling teeth, switchblades and claws that really caugth their attention. Yes, children really love

But it’s more than just a quick tour through the facilities before being handed souvenir Boston itineraries that really makes a kid’s visit to complete. For unlike those other concert-info Web sites that just hand them a few dates for Yes or Bill Wyman & The Rhythm Kings before hustling them out the door and back to the bus, we believe that the little urchins deserve a complete, tour-data processing experience when they visit our campus. We think the little ones should be allowed to have some fun, and discover how exciting it is to process performance dates for artists such as Steve Winwood and bands like The Dandy Warhols and Weakerthans.

That’s why each and every child that visits gets to try his or her hand at entering concert info just like the pros. We sit them down in their own cubicles and hand them the incoming raw data for Agent 51, Sam Brown and Wishbone Ash. Then, just to make the experience seem even more realistic, we chain them to their chairs for eight, nine, sometimes even ten hours, while at the same time we raise the room temperature to 95 degrees and boost the humidity to 100 percent so that they can experience the honest sweat one endures when toiling in our little shop of wonders.

Yes, the children come from all over the world to visit They play, they laugh, they perspire profusely, they process dates for Turbonegro, Roger Day and The Distillers. And they do it all with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts.

Ahhh! Kids and It’s what summer is all about. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to hustle the little brats out of the building before the next shift, er, we mean, before the next tour bus pulls into the parking lot. Is this a great season or what?