Imagine enjoying a concert with friends when a drunk attendee begins aggressively booty-bumping your left side. You shuffle away only to be accosted by a loud conversation that distracts from the point of the outing: listening to music. Maneuvering through the crowd to a different area, you hope to find some peace, but the stage ends up blocked by a 6-foot-5 person.
Poor concert etiquette is all too prevalent at any given show.
At WLUW 88.7fm, Loyola Chicago’s student run radio station, the executive staff is sick of annoying concert behavior. We’ve drawn up a few general courtesy rules for concert goers to guarantee everyone can enjoy the show.
The general admission floor is where the bulk of inappropriate concert behavior takes place. From dancing that borders on violent, breath that reeks of liquor and loud conversations that should happen after the show, the GA floor needs guidance.
Venues often have bars – if the audience is packed, we promote finishing your drink before entering the floor. No one likes to have cocktails spilled on them. If it’s a light night without a packed theater, enjoy a drink in the audience while listening.
Put your phone away. Sure, snap a picture once or twice, take a video or two. But do not incessantly have your arm raised above everyone, recording the entire show on your phone. No one cares enough to watch that hour-and-a-half long video later, not even the person recording.
The band or solo musician is the focal point of any concert. It’s their time to shine - not a random person in the audience yelling song requests over and over. Interrupting the artist’s set is annoying to the crowd and the band.
Touching others in the crowd is inevitable. But space is important. Be considerate of those near you. If you’ve repeatedly bumped into someone, take a step away. If you love to dance, make sure you’re dancing in a way that doesn’t take away from others experiences. Look at the space of the venue – is it a roomy floor? If so, spread out. Do not smoosh the people in front of you to try and get as close to the stage as possible.
If you did not show up hours early to get a front row spot, you do not have the right to shove through the packed audience to get as close as possible. Our least favorite concert goer is the person who forces their way into the crowd and chooses a spot where there’s already little room. Want a particular spot in the audience? Show up early enough to get that spot.
A point of tension at concerts that no one can seem to agree on is whether tall people should stand in the back. We think there are better solutions. Say there’s a shorter person behind you and you’d be able to see the stage over them clearly – invite that person to stand in front of you. Exceptionally tall people are encouraged to be aware of who’s behind them and be courteous.
At any concert, everyone wants to enjoy the music as much as you do and each attendee deserves to have a good time. Working together to create a safe, fun and inclusive space as possible is what will make the experience wonderful for all.