As an avid fan of live music and fun times, I understand that festivals and concerts are excellent times to let loose, enjoy the experience and make some killer memories. With that being said, I am always baffled by fellow goers who REPEATEDLY ruin other people’s experiences and even their own with just a select few behaviors. Did we not all pay to have a fun time? I’m not about to be a Debbie downer ruining somebody else’s way of expressing themselves… but please do it in a respectful way. I’m not going to tell you what to do and how to be… but for the love of God and good music, STOP doing this:
1) Get mad when I stand up.
I understand there are certain situations where it is necessary to sit down during a performance but do not get angry at other people for wanting to stand up and/or dance around. Musicians use music to express themselves and reach other people, standing up and enjoying it is part of this expression and lets the performer know the audience is in touch with their tunes.
2) Talk and scream throughout the entire performance.
PLEASE SHUT UP. STOP TALKING. I’M PAYING MONEY TO BE SERENADED BY THE AVETT BROTHERS, NOT YOU. K thanks.
Seriously though, there are so many times that I have been to a show where it is ruined because of a shitty audience or that one obnoxious person talking the whole time. If you feel the need to say something to a friend or your new buddy at a show, go for it, just don’t constantly talk and scream above the music. Surprisingly enough I paid to hear the band and not your life story.
3) Wear things that obstruct the view of everyone behind you.
Wardrobe is a time and place subject for sure. For the sake of our eyes and well-being, think before you dress… I’m watching a concert, not a different kind of “show.” Accessories also apply to this rule. I, too, want to be stylish, but sometimes it’s 100% unnecessary to wear a huge hat no matter how cute it is. A concert is one of these times. Sure, raves and electronic music/certain festivals have another kind of dress code; use that and go crazy. I’ll see you there, my friend.
4) Push past me in a crowd just to stand on me the entire time and flip your hair in my face.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO HAVE THE BEST VIEW AND BE AT THE FRONT. E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y. I’m totally cool with letting a few people get by me to be with their friends, I would do the same, but when your group of 50 friends are all trying to push their way to the front, that is not okay. I stood here for hours to have a decent view, please don’t stand on top of me because you can’t get by. Festivals are usually packed, and we’re all there for the same thing (the music, I hope), so please don’t lose your understanding of common courtesy.
5) Intoxicate yourself to the point of non-functioning.
If you want to drink or do “whatever” at shows, I’ll leave you to it. You do you, that’s cool. Please refrain from spilling your alcohol all over me (I bathed once, I don’t want to have to again for a few days, okay). Try to think of concerts like family events; drink all you want until somebody starts getting offensive! Don’t get so messed up that you’re being obnoxious, picking fights, or just completely ruining the experience for others. Also be respectful of life itself and have a DD, uber, or some other way to get home!
6) Wave your cell phone in my face the entire concert.
Nowadays, cell phones are generally a touchy subject, the major controversy being “do we spend too much time on our cell phones and/or social media?” Typically, I’m immune to any part of discussion on matters like this… until matters involve cell phones at concerts. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a cell phone saint at concerts. I like to take a few pictures and show my snapchat friends the incredible time I am having at a show but I know there is a limit. For the sake of the performer, everybody around you, and your own personal experience…WATCH THE SHOW, NOT YOUR PHONE, please. Why pay to go to a live show if you’re just going to watch it through a 4 inch screen? It is great to document what happens, I definitely love looking back at pictures and videos of events I’ve attended, but again, just be aware and relatively respectful.
7) Disrespect the performer and fellow viewers who actually care about the music.
This might be the most important and annoying unwritten rule that gets broken at shows, but be respectful to the musicians. They have the guts and talent to get on stage and be vulnerable for you, so even if you aren’t necessarily a fan (why you here if you not though?), be respectful of those that are and the band themselves. As I said before, musicians thrive off of audiences. We make or break for the vibe, music, and experience of concerts. Over the past year I have been to many shows, a few memorable ones were Cage the Elephant at Pilgrimage Festival, Foo Fighters at Bridgestone Arena, and Wilco at the Tabernacle. Each were completely different but all were incredible because the audiences were zoned in on the music and the musicians reflected that. It may not be a proven science, but it is pretty damn close to it. Respect it.
8) Most importantly, if you plan on doing, or even think you might do, any of the above things:
b. don’t come
c. a & b