Gig Etiquette (or not!)

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My name is Connie and I’m a 17 year old music-loving student! Ever since I heard about the joke of a price for the recent Rolling Stones gig tickets, it really made me think about what you get when you pay for concerts. Having seen at least 30 artists live, I’ve had a fair share in previewing first-hand what it truly means to see ‘live music’. Although you will obviously be surrounded by people who love the artist as much as you do, it can also mean SOME people will go in just a little bit too hard when it comes to showing their undying love. I’ve compiled a list of the way I think people should behave at gigs that would really make it better for everyone:

Be respectful of who you’re actually surrounded by

At probably about 75% of gigs, people WILL find a way to make a mosh pit or some sort of violent ‘lets-destroy-each-other’ type situations. There will be people who DON’T want to be a part of these, the ‘flowers’ of the concert – but that’s ok! I’ve witnessed (and experienced) countless scenarios of literally being pushed/pulled into mosh pits and such and being thrown around uncomfortably. If you see someone who blatantly doesn’t want to be in one, or has fallen or hurt themselves etc, just be courteous and pull them out. It’s not funny to push strangers into them either, and it’s not particularly fair. Chances are, if they’re desperately clinging for dear life onto the edge of a circle pit, they probably don’t want to venture in.

We know you love them but…

You’ve probably paid a lot of money to go and see the artist you’re seeing, so naturally you’re bound to be pretty excited. Of course, it’s just an instinct to scream and shout when they come on and shout out a few lyrics, but how many times have I been stood next to an absolute dick that goes absolutely beyond crazy when they come out and sings along to every single word VERY loudly. The normal justification is “Oh but I’ve paid to go see them so I’ll do what I like”. This may be the case, Mr. Arsehole, but so have I, and I don’t want the only thing I see or hear to be YOU. Equally, I went to a gig once and there happened to be a very quiet song. I was quietly singing along to the lyrics and I was shhhed! Gigs aren’t supposed to be silent either, get real.

Thieves of the arena

If you’re at a gig (and you’re clever), you’ll only take with you the few bits and bobs you really need – maybe even an old phone and enough money to get you some food/journey home. Do you really want to be the reason that someone can’t afford to get home, eat that night OR contact someone about these things? People who steal from fans at gigs just gets on my wick – no-one is bringing their life savings with them so leave it out. I was at Wembley Arena seeing Muse a couple of years ago when a man put his WHOLE hand into my pocket. If you’ve paid to be there, just bloody well enjoy it!

The beauty of the bar

The bar can be both a blessing and a curse. If you hiked to the gig HOURS in advance to be right at the front, good for you, I respect that. That means other people should too. If you’re one of these mugwanks that thinks they can literally push through the crowd from the back to the front because you came later, then you, my friend, are a fool. It’s most probable that those hardcore fans at the front won’t let you anywhere near their precious spot, so pushing like a beast won’t get you anywhere. Standing on people and literally trying to move them (speaking from experience) will just get you a slap.

Shower of beer anyone?

One of my absolute worst nightmares at a gig is the ‘shower of beer’ that many gig-goers have sadly experienced. I don’t understand why you would pay (normally a ridiculous amount) for some beer and then end up lobbing half a cup full over everyone?! Dropping your empty cups on the floor is widely acceptable but come on, who wants to be rinsing ale out of their hair at 1am..

It’s live for a reason

A final bugbear that gets me every time is when you’re stood behind a person that, for the entirety of the concert, is recording the show on an iPhone or – even worse – a blackberry. Not only are you blocking my view and not concentrating on the artist, but you’re never going to watch the whole thing again so really you’re wasting your time and battery. Filming your favourite song by them, or two, is acceptable, but if you really want to spend the whole night recording, maybe you need to move your career to the BBC pal.

So that’s all I can think of for now! I know I sound like a moany old cow but really, all I want to do when I go to a gig is enjoy it and the atmosphere rather than just tut at the many annoyances that can occur. Of course the people you go with will add to the experience, but I honestly believe if everyone just was a bit more courteous, gigs wouldn’t have to be so traumatic sometimes! If you’re never been to a gig before, go and enjoy the company of your beloved artist and don’t let this put you off – I know I’ll be going to gigs until I drop.

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