Concert Etiquette?

It has been a few weeks since I last saw Duran Duran play in Las Vegas. Yet, I’m still thinking about it. Yeah, it was that fabulous and I had such a good time. Seriously, I wish that I could have bottled that show (and so many others!) so that I could relive it over and over again when needed. (I could use a little of it now as I’m already overwhelmed by the school year.) Anyway, I think that part of my good feeling about that show is that everything went exactly as I would have wanted it. I had amazing seats, surrounded by my friend, Suzie, on one side and Rhonda, on the other. Everyone in front and behind us seemed to be on the same page. I was lucky that night, but other nights and other people’s experiences have left me wondering if fans need to think about concert etiquette. I know that there are not really rules except for what a venue has but should we have some agreements about what is cool and not as cool?

Before I start, I want to recognize that there is a big difference in unwritten rules for general admission shows and seated ones. I know that people in the audience for a GA show have to be more flexible and understanding. For instance, I go into a GA show knowing darn well that my personal space will be far less than a seated show. I cannot get upset each and every time someone touches me or knocks into me. I have been with people who get all uptight and accuse people of being jerks for innocently touching them. That isn’t cool either, in my opinion, especially when it results in us having to move and not having as good a spot, which has happened to me. That said, I also get totally turned off by people who don’t claim a spot but instead barge their way through the crowd to get up front right before the show starts. That isn’t very cool to those who had been there, waiting for hours. Similarly, while I get that I won’t have as much personal space, it doesn’t mean that I’m cool with being knocked into frequently. I think most people can tell the difference between an accidental bump and intentionally causing harm. What about those people who leave their spot for whatever reason? I’m not sure about that. On one hand, I get that people might need to use the bathroom or something like that. Does that mean that they get their spot back? I know that I try to not leave because it is pain in the butt for the rest of the crowd. What do you all think?

While GA can be complicated, does that mean that there are no controversial moves at a seated show? I don’t really think so. One issue that relates to what I mentioned above, there is the question of the person who leaves frequently for bathroom breaks or drinks or whatever. I get that people might need to leave but I wonder if there is a number of times that is simply too much. I know that if I am at a show, each time someone leaves and comes back, I get distracted. This is why I tend to like being in the middle of a section as I don’t get interrupted as much. Another issue is the phone issue, which we have talked about before on the blog. While I get wanting to take pictures and/or video, is there an amount that is too much? Or does it just matter if people block others’ views? I have had people in front of me taking lots of pictures and videos. In some cases, the people have been very careful not to block my view or people near me. Others not as much. While I definitely appreciate the heck out of video of shows I have been to appearing on YouTube, I also find it distracting when I’m at a concert even when I’m not being blocked. Clearly, this issue is one that does not seem to have a concrete answer as I can see all sides.

Then, I have to wonder what is the proper way to deal with someone who is negatively impacting your concert experience. Is it better to say something? If so, how? When? I know that when I have seen people try, the other person usually responds aggressively arguing that they, too, paid for the ticket and should be able to do whatever they want to enjoy it. While I get that philosophy, I would hate doing something that would make someone’s concert experience less than awesome. I always worry about people around me. I try to keep my dancing and clapping to my space. I try not to block others when I take photos/video. That said, I’m sure that I do things that bother others and do even know, which makes me feel bad. I know that years ago when I held up a sign that I blocked others. I am still sorry that I did that and did not mean to do anything that would potentially ruin someone’s experience.

Obviously, there are few, if any, clear answers about how to behave at a show. What do the rest of you think?

-A

One thought on “Concert Etiquette?”

  1. I’m pretty loose on concert etiquette.Bumping is going to happen-but if it was excessive in amount or strength of impact I’d bash them back.Filming-I don’t mind because it’s easy to shift my view when standing. It’s worse when the person in front of you is taller-but that’s the risk you take.Hold up the sign, and I’d appreciate it being turned so if I’m behind you I can read it too.In real life I have a huge amount of ‘personal space’ but a concert necessitates getting close.

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