If you’re a frequent concert-goer, you may have noticed several different changes to your concert experience. Whether it’s a set list change, spending hundreds of dollars on your ticket, or the overwhelming crowds, concerts have begun to flourish once again after being canceled or postponed for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even with the excitement of attending a concert to see your favorite artist can be ruined by something the artist themselves can not control: concert etiquette.
Throughout these last few months, we have seen a change in the way that audience members have begun to treat the artists they admire. It can be seen as a way to try to get their favorite singer’s attention, or to experience a main character moment. It’s becoming more clear that this mindset is not only becoming harmful to the fans, but the actual performer themselves. Harry Styles is the most recent artist to be hit with objects on stage and disrespected by concert-goers, and the behavior seems to not be ending any time soon.
Harry Styles was hit by a flying object at a concert.
During the Love on Tour concert stop in Vienna on July 8, Styles was hit in the eye by an unidentified object while performing “As It Was.” Videos of the event showed Styles bending over and covering his eyes in pain, trying to continue the show. Styles was physically uncomfortable, and rightfully so. Fans often throw gifts to Styles during his sets, but it was clear that this was out of hand.
Styles proceeded to finish the concert, but many fans were disgusted and frustrated towards the concert etiquette in Vienna after Styles was hit.
Her Campus reached out to Styles’ management team for comment on the incident, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Styles is not the first artist to be hit by a fan’s flying object.
In just this year alone, reports about fans throwing gifts on stage and hitting performing artists have become frequent events. A month before Styles was hit in the face, singer Bebe Rexha was hit in the face by a phone during a performance in New York City. When the perpetrator was questioned as to why he threw his phone onstage, he responded by saying that “it would be funny,” and that he wanted to see if he could hit Rexha during her performance.
A few days after Rexha’s incident, singer Ava Max was attacked on stage by a man in Los Angeles. During Max’s performance, the man slapped her in the face before he was banned from the venue. Max tweeted about the incident, saying that “the man slapped me so hard that he scratched the inside of my eye. He’s never coming to a show again.” on her personal account.
Country singer Kelsea Ballerini experienced a similar event during her Idaho concert in June, where during her performance of “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too),” a fan threw a bracelet, hitting Ballerini in the face. Ballerini paused the show and exited stage before she turned to talk about what had occurred. In her speech to her Idaho crowd, Ballerini expressed that she just wanted to “keep everyone safe” and to not throw things.
Other singers have spoken out against the concerning trend online, too. Charlie Puth warned about throwing items at concerts after what happened to Ballerini. Puth stated that “the trend of throwing things at performers while they are on stage must come to an end,” highlighting that the risks were “disrespectful and dangerous” and begged fans to just “enjoy the music” at these events.
We need to stop this behavior from being encouraged.
The barrier between fans and artists should not be crossed, especially when it comes to throwing objects or jumping on stage as a joke. Artists should feel at ease doing their job that they love doing, entertaining their fans and being able to pour their hearts into their performances. There shouldn’t be worries of being potentially hit or blinded by an object that is being hurled at them, and it’s unfair that fans believe that this is the best way to get their favorite singers attention.
Other fans in the audience should not have to worry about their favorite singer being hurt, but rather should be able to enjoy the night that they have spent so long waiting for. Fan etiquette needs to be taken more seriously by those in the audience, and fans should respect the boundaries that are placed by the stage.