Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Have Some Decorum, Please!: The Need for Concert Etiquette

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nanyang Tech chapter.

Last year in July, I went to the NCT 127 concert which was quite literally the event of the century for my friend and I. Thanks to the pandemic, it had been 3 years since they last performed in Singapore, and they were greatly missed by local fans. I remember arriving at the concert venue with my friend, brimming with excitement as we were lucky enough to have snagged seats near the stage where we would be able to enjoy the show safely and comfortably without obstruction, unlike in the standing pens. Clutching my lightstick that I bought for a high price, after having paid an even higher amount for the ticket, we counted down to the opening act with bated breath and kept our eyes peeled for the members who appeared as familiar and powerful beats vibrated through the arena, strong enough to feel in our seats. Just as they began dancing to the first song, a fan seated directly in front of me shot up abruptly from her seat. Unable to contain her excitement, she ruined the perfect start to an electrifying concert for me. In fact, she continued to dance and prance, robbing me of my view for most of the opening act. Rather than exhilaration, I wanted to scream out of anger. If you’re an NCTzen like me, you’d know the loss of not seeing “Kick It”, NCT 127’s most popular and anticipated song that achieved mainstream success. I decided to be considerate and wait until the end of the song to politely confront her about her behaviour. To my chagrin, she asserted it was her right as a concertgoer, and I was left with a sour taste in my mouth.

In light of the upcoming slew of concerts to happen in Singapore, the topic of concert etiquette has become more relevant than ever. Compared to classical concerts, there seems to be a lot less respect between fellow concertgoers. However, everyone pays a large sum of money and deserves the experience of watching their favourite artists perform live. It can be personal, even sacred, and it should be respected and protected. With large crowds, the issue of safety is especially salient. The NCT 127 concert was the first large-scale concert to take place in a long time. Fans standing in the pens showed no concept of personal space or boundaries as they pushed for better views. Those in the front suffered the most with some even throwing up. However, this is not a new phenomena: fans fainting in concerts due to dehydration or overheating has been a common occurrence, although it is one that we should prevent to the best of our abilities. Without a doubt, everyone should learn and practise concert etiquette.

When it comes to concert etiquette, the Japanese have a strict reputation. Not only are photos and videos completely banned in concerts, but screaming is also extremely frowned upon. Instead, fans offer the artists their undivided attention and opt for cheering lively only at big or impressive moments. By taking great care to not inconvenience those around them, everyone is guaranteed the optimal concert experience. However, such concert etiquette can sound intimidating or foreign, especially if it is your first time attending a show. Although it is worthy of praise, it may be a little extreme in practice. In my opinion, here are some basic yet good rules to follow: switch your electronic devices to silent mode, refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or inappropriate conversations, and keep your hands to yourself so that you do not invade other people’s space (that means no shoving or screaming into someone’s ear). Lastly, make sure you take a shower! 

Concert etiquette also extends to your behaviour before the concert, such as not showing up unwelcomed at airports. Large mobs at airports are not only dangerous to the artists, but also overwhelming for other people who are present, such as the staff. It is also extremely disruptive for other passengers and to the airport staff. Not to mention, some fans go on a wild goose chase to stalk the artists throughout the tour. If you’re an old K-pop stan like me, you would recall that Super Junior was involved in an accident right here in Singapore, thanks to overzealous fans chasing down their van. During the concert, these fans are also not above tossing intimate items on stage or making rude remarks. In the face of such unruly acts, it is difficult to imagine that these artists could enjoy performing even after having dedicated so much of their time and energy to putting up the concert. The wellbeing of the artists matter as well.

As we revert to a pre-pandemic state with the relaxing of social distancing rules, it is imperative that we take the duty upon ourselves to ensure that any event is safe and fun for all parties involved. This applies to parties and clubs as well — the value of decorum is always cherished.

Gredel Teo

Nanyang Tech '25

Y2 English and Communication Studies major Email: gredelteo@gmail.com IG: @gredelteo